Friday, August 14, 2009

July Retail Sales

Wall Street Journal -- U.S. retail sales fell 0.1% in July even with a boost from the government's cash-for-clunkers subsidy, the Commerce Department reported, marking the first decline in seasonally adjusted sales in three months.

MP: Actually, the seasonally-adjusted decline in retail sales was only -.055% (from $342.497 billion in June to $342.309 billion in July), so by rounding to only one decimal place the reported percentage decline (-0.10%) was almost twice the actual percentage decline (-0.055%).

Additionally, the Census Bureau reports shows a +1.11% increase in July retail sales without seasonal adjustment ($355.243 billion in July from $351.360 billion in June). And the BLS reported today that the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) decreased 0.2% in July before seasonal adjustment. Therefore, real retail sales in July, adjusted for the 0.2% deflation in July, actually increased by 1.16% before seasonal adjustment.

Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/14/2009 9:55 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can you choose to ignore seasonal adjustments whenever they don't fit your ideology?

I noticed you didn't show the valid comparison of this July to previous July. This would remove the problem of season adjustments.

Why is it that you never respond to comments?

At 8/14/2009 9:57 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Bill: Thanks for your comments, you make a valid point.


At 8/14/2009 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue in the WSJ seemed to highlight the .1% drop vs the .07% increase expected by economists, so -.1 or -.05 is not really significant and issue...

At 8/14/2009 1:49 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Let us agree that the results are flat. Every retailer wants an increase from the previous year but I think consumers want to pay cash (or debit) and that is in short supply.

At 8/14/2009 1:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


The problem with that is, that the results weren't flat. YoY sales are down 8.3%.

That fact wasn't mentioned.


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