Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Real Retail Sales

by Calculated Risk on 5/13/2008 10:43:00 AM

Retail sales in April (ex-auto) were decent. However, in real terms - inflation adjusted - retail sales are now below the year ago level.

This graph shows the year-over-year change in nominal and real retail sales since 1993.

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image.

To calculate the real change, the monthly PCE price index from the BEA was used (April PCE prices were estimated based on the increases for the last 3 months).

Although the Census Bureau reported that nominal retail sales increased 1.8% year-over-year (retail and food services increased 2.0%), real retail sales declined 1.3% (on a YoY basis).

This is a recessionary level for real retail sales.