Friday, March 12, 2010

Retail Sales increase in February

by Bill McBride on 3/12/2010 08:30:00 AM

On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 0.3% from January to February (seasonally adjusted, after revisions), and sales were up 4.5% from February 2009 (easy comparison).

UPDATE: January was revised down sharply. Jan was originally reported at $355.8 billion, an increase of 0.5% from December.

February was reported at $355.5 billion - a decline without the revision to January.

January has been revised down to $354.3 or an increase of 0.1% from December.

Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).

The red line shows retail sales ex-gasoline and shows the increase in final demand ex-gasoline has been sluggish.

Retail sales are up 6.0% from the bottom, but still off 6.4% from the peak. Retail ex-gasoline are up 3.6% from the bottom and still off 5.4% from the peak.

Year-over-year change in Retail SalesThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales (ex-gasoline) since 1993.

Retail sales ex-gasoline increased by 2.1% on a YoY basis (4.5% for all retail sales). The year-over-year comparisons are easy now since retail sales collapsed in late 2008. Retail sales bottomed in December 2008.

Here is the Census Bureau report:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $355.5 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month and 3.9 percent (±0.5%) above February 2009.
...
Gasoline stations sales were up 24.0 percent (±1.5%) from February 2009 and nonstore retailers sales were up 11.8 percent (±1.7%) from last year.