Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Retail Sales decreased 0.9% in December

by Bill McBride on 1/14/2015 08:30:00 AM

On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 0.9% from November to December (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 3.2% from December 2013. Sales in November were revised down from an increase of +0.7% to +0.4%.

From the Census Bureau report:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $442.9 billion, a decrease of 0.9 percent from the previous month, but up 3.2 percent above December 2013. ... The October to November 2014 percent change was revised from +0.7 percent to +0.4 percent.
Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image.

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

Retail sales ex-gasoline decreased 0.3%.

Retail sales ex-autos decreased 1.0%. 

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993.

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales Retail and Food service sales ex-gasoline increased by 5.5% on a YoY basis (3.2% for all retail sales).

The decrease in December was well below consensus expectations of a 0.1% decrease.  Both October and November were revised down.

This was a weak report even after removing the impact of lower gasoline prices.