Recent Updates

  • US: GDP by Industry (Q1)
  • Canada: Retail Trade (May), CPI (Jun)
  • Thailand: Trade (Jun); China: Loans from Financial Institutions (Jun); Korea: Trade in Goods (Jun); Taiwan: Export Orders (Jun)
  • Turkey: NCI Index (Jul)
  • Turkey: Established & Liquidated (Jun-Press); Morocco: CPI, Public Finance (Jun)
  • Spain: Workers Affected by Layoffs (Apr); Foreign Trade (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Momentum is Lost
by Tom Moeller  May 13, 2014

Retail and food service sales ticked 0.1% higher last month following a 1.5% March increase, revised from 1.1%. A 0.4% increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales of motor vehicles & parts increased 0.6% (9.8% y/y) in April following outsized gains of 3.6% and 2.6% during the prior two months. Nonauto sales were unchanged (2.7% y/y) after an upwardly revised 1.0% gain. A 0.6% increase had been expected. Benchmark revisions posted earlier altered sales back to 2008.

In the discretionary spending categories, apparel store sales increased 1.2% (1.1% y/y) after a 1.1% rise. Sales at building materials & garden equipment stores gained 0.4% (2.2% y/y) after a 1.0% advance and general merchandise store sales were up 0.2% (2.8% y/y) following a 2.0% surge. On the weak side were sales of electronics & appliance stores which fell 2.3% (-1.5% y/y), reversing the March increase. Nonstore retailers sales declined 0.9% (+6.5% y/y) countering two months of strong increase and furniture store sales were off 0.6% (+3.5% y/y) after a 1.7% advance. Restaurant sales fell 0.9% (+3.0% y/y) after strong gains in the prior two months.

In the nondiscretionary spending categories, sales at food & beverage stores rose 0.3% (3.5% y/y) following a negligible March gain. Sales at health & personal care stores increased 0.6% (5.8% y/y) after similar increases during the prior two months. Gasoline service station sales increased 0.8% (-0.2% y/y) following two months of decline.

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

Retail Spending (%) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 0.1 1.5 0.9 3.8 4.2 5.1 7.5
  Excluding Autos 0.0 1.0 0.4 2.7 3.0 4.2 6.9
  Non-Auto Less Gasoline & Building Supplies 0.0 1.0 0.4 2.7 3.0 4.2 6.9
Retail Sales 0.2 1.5 0.9 4.2 4.3 5.0 7.6
  Motor Vehicle & Parts 0.6 3.6 2.6 9.8 9.4 9.1 9.9
 Retail Less Autos 0.1 0.9 0.4 2.6 3.0 4.0 7.1
  Gasoline Stations 0.8 -1.0 -0.2 -0.2 -0.4 4.2 18.3
Food Service & Drinking Places Sales -0.9 1.9 0.8 3.0 3.1 5.9 6.0
close
large image