Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Small Monthly Gain, But New Record-High for Retail

The Census Bureau reported today that monthly retail sales increased by 0.2% in November, which was the sixth straight monthly increase in consumer spending, but it was the smallest gain in five months, and less than the 0.6% gain predicted by the consensus forecast.  Even with the smaller-than-expected gain, U.S. consumers still set a new all-time monthly record by spending almost $400 billion on retail and food services in November. 

Retail spending in November was 6.7% higher than the year-earlier level, and spending in every category except department stores (-3.0%) registered annual gains last month, with especially strong gains in auto sales (+7.5%), miscellaneous stores (+7.7%), gasoline stations (12.9%) and nonstore retailers (+13.9%).   Excluding gasoline sales, retail sales increased by 6% on an annual basis. 

Read news reports here from AP and Bloomberg.


At 12/13/2011 9:33 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

worth noting:

these are nominal numbers. 6% sounds large because we are use to thinking in terms of real gdp growth.

using CPI to deflate it, you are looking at something in the low 2%'s.

take out food, restaurants, and gasoline (where inflation has been much higher than CPI) and this number drops under 2% in real terms.

that does not seem like much to get excited about, especially if you doubt the CPI number and therefore suspect there may be no real growth at all.

At 12/13/2011 12:50 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Tell me again why the Census Department should be considered a credible source of information...

Retail Sales Flat Post Black Friday. Fed Preview

At 12/13/2011 1:24 PM, Blogger rjs said...

5% higher than the 2007 high, seasonally adjusted but not adjusted for inflation...


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