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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Real Retail Sales

by Calculated Risk on 8/13/2008 09:21:00 AM

From the WSJ: Retail Sales Fall on Soft Auto Demand

Retail sales decreased by 0.1%, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. ... The last time sales fell was in February, when demand tumbled 0.5%.

Pulling down overall retail sales were U.S. sales of automobiles and parts, which plunged 2.4% in July, Wednesday's data showed. June sales fell 2.1%. ...Sales of all other retailers excluding auto and parts dealers rose in July by 0.4%
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 in new window.

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

Although the Census Bureau reported that nominal retail sales increased 2.7% year-over-year (retail and food services increased 2.6%), real retail sales declined slightly (on a YoY basis).

Despite the stimulus checks, YoY real retail sales have remained negative all year.