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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Growth Is Firm & Broad-based
by Tom Moeller  October 15, 2012

The consumer remained in a spending mood last month. Retail sales jumped 1.1% following an upwardly revised 1.2% August rise, last month reported as 0.9%. July's 0.7% increase was upwardly revised as well. A 0.8% gain in September sales was expected according to Action Economics. Less autos, retail sales also were strong and posted a 1.1% rise which was twice expectations. That increase followed a 1.0% gain in August which was upwardly revised.

Higher sales at gasoline service stations led last month's strength with a 2.5% (5.8% y/y) rise as Haver's seasonally adjusted gasoline price series rose 5.8% m/m. Motor vehicle sales also were strong and gained 1.3% (8.1% y/y). That increase came after the report earlier this month that unit sales of light vehicles rose 3.0% (13.9% y/y). Discretionary spending was on the upswing as nonauto sales excluding gasoline increased 1.0% (4.4% y/y).

Sales of home furnishings, appliances and electronics jumped 2.4% (5.8% y/y). Appliance and electronics purchases spiked 4.5% (3.6% y/y) while furniture store sales nudged up just 0.4% (8.1% y/y). Sales of apparel & accessory stores also increased 0.6% (4.9% y/y) following firm gains in the prior four months. Sales of general merchandise rose 0.3% (-1.1% y/y) after several months of decline since January. Sales of building materials gained 1.1% (4.5% y/y). Food & beverages store sales rose 1.2% (4.0% y/y) while sales of nonstore retailers spiked 1.8% (15.0% y/y).

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

 

Retail Spending(%) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 1.1 1.2 0.7 5.4 8.0 5.5 -7.1
  Excluding Autos 1.1 1.0 0.9 4.8 7.3 4.5 -5.7
Retail Sales 1.2 1.3 0.8 5.3 8.2 5.8 -7.9
  Motor Vehicle & Parts 1.3 1.8 0.1 8.1 10.9 10.8 -13.9
 Retail excluding Autos 1.2 1.1 0.9 4.6 7.6 4.7 -6.4
  Gasoline Stations 2.5 6.1 0.5 5.8 17.9 14.7 -22.0
 Non-Auto Less Gasoline 1.0 0.3 1.0 4.4 5.9 3.2 -3.4
Food Service 0.4 0.2 0.4 5.6 5.9 3.2 -0.9
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