Recent Updates

  • China: 70-City Property Prices (Sep), Capacity Utilization, GDP (Q3)
  • US: Regional Retail Sales (Sep)
  • Spain: Motor Vehicle Registrations (Sep)
  • Canada Regional: CPI by Province (Sep), Retail Trade by Province (Aug)
  • Canada: CPI (Sep), Retail Trade (Aug)
  • Ireland: General Government Debt, General Government Transactions (Q2)
  • Latvia: PPI (Sep)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Driven By Autos & Gasoline
by Tom Moeller  March 13, 2012

Retail sales jumped 1.1% (6.5% y/y) during February following upwardly revised gains of 0.6% and 0.3% during the prior two months. The improvement about matched Consensus expectations for a 1.1% rise according to Action Economics. The latest increase was the strongest since September. Higher gasoline prices ware behind much of last month's spending and gas purchases which rose 3.3% (10.3% y/y). Outlays on motor vehicles also were strong and jumped 1.6% (6.9% y/y). Excluding both gasoline and autos, retail sales rose 0.5% last month (5.4% y/y) after a 0.9% January increase.

Strength in motor vehicle purchases follows the earlier report of a 6.5% rise (13.7% y/y) in unit sales. However, purchases of other discretionary items again were mixed. Apparel stores posted a 1.8% jump (7.3% y/y) after a 0.7% January gain. To the weak side, furniture, home furnishings & appliances slipped 0.1% (+3.1% y/y) following a 1.1% January rise. General merchandise store sales slipped 0.1% (+2.9% y/y) after January's 0.8% gain. Sales by nonstore retailers rose 1.0% (8.5% y/y) and restaurant sales increased 0.8% (8.2% y/y).

The retail sales figure are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics figures are in the AS1REPNA database.

Retail Spending (%) Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 1.1 0.6 0.3 6.5 7.7 6.4 -7.0
  Excluding Autos 0.9 1.1 -0.2 6.4 7.2 5.7 -5.5
Retail Sales 1.1 0.5 0.3 6.3 7.9 6.8 -7.8
  Motor Vehicle & Parts 1.6 -1.6 2.6 6.9 10.1 9.8 -13.7
 Retail excluding Autos 1.0 1.1 -0.3 6.1 7.4 6.1 -6.3
  Gasoline Stations 3.3 1.9 -2.1 10.3 17.4 17.0 -22.2
 Non-Auto Less Gasoline 0.5 0.9 0.0 5.4 5.8 4.5 -3.3
Food Service 0.8 1.4 0.6 8.2 5.9 2.6 -0.5
close
large image