Recent Updates

  • Estonia: PPI (Dec)
  • Thailand: International Trade Press (Dec); Taiwan: Approved Foreign Investment (Dec); Korea: PPI, Tourist Arrivals, Domestic Supply and Output Price Indexes (Dec), First 20 Days of Trade (Jan); Malaysia: Business Cycle Indicators (Nov)
  • Japan: Population Estimates (Jan), Trading Volume of Treasury and Financing Bills by Investor Type, TSE Tokyo PRO Market (Dec)
  • Netherlands: Household Consumption (Nov), Consumer Confidence Survey (Jan)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Recovery Accompanied by Upward Revisions
by Tom Moeller  August 13, 2015

Overall retail sales including food services & drinking places during July increased 0.6% (2.9% y/y). The rise followed upwardly-revised readings of no change and 1.2% in June and May, earlier reported as a 0.3% decline and a 1.0% gain. The July rise matched the increase in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales excluding autos improved an expected 0.4% (1.7% y/y) following a like gain during June and a 1.0% May increase, revised from -0.1% and +0.8%. During the last ten years, there has been a 92% correlation between the y/y change in retail sales and the change in real GDP.

Sales in the retail control group exclude autos, gasoline, building materials & food services. They align with the consumer spending estimates in the GDP accounts. Sales in this grouping improved 0.3% (3.6% y/y) after gains of 0.2% and 0.8%, earlier reported as a 0.1% decline and a 0.7% rise.

Building materials & garden equipment sales increased 0.7% (2.2% y/y) following two months of 0.2% improvement. Light motor vehicle sales increased 1.4% (7.2% y/y) and made up June's decline. The rise compared to a 3.3% increase in unit sales of cars and light trucks.

In other discretionary spending categories, internet sales recovered 1.5% (6.9% y/y) after a 0.2% dip. Sporting goods, hobby shop, book & music store sales increased 0.9% (7.7% y/y) and more than made up a 0.3% dip. Sales of furniture & home furnishings increased 0.8% (6.6% y/y) following a 1.0% decline. Restaurant sales increased 0.7% (9.8% y/y) after a 0.5% rise and apparel store sales increased 0.4% (3.6% y/y) after a 0.9% drop. Gasoline service station sales rose 0.4% (-14.6% y/y) following two months of strong gain. To the downside, purchases at electronics & appliance stores fell 1.2% (-2.9% y/y) and reversed the June improvement. General merchandise sales were off 0.5% (+1.5% y/y) after a 0.8% rise.

In the nondiscretionary categories, health & personal care store sales rose 0.3% (3.4% y/y) following a 0.8% decrease. Food & beverage store sales remained roughly unchanged (3.3% y/y) for the second straight month.

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

Retail Spending (%) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 0.6 0.0 1.2 2.9 3.9 3.7 5.0
  Excluding Autos 0.4 0.4 1.0 1.7 3.1 2.7 4.1
  Non-Auto Less Gasoline, Building Supplies & Food Services 0.3 0.2 0.8 3.6 3.3 2.7 3.6
Retail Sales 0.6 -0.1 1.3 2.0 3.7 3.8 4.9
  Motor Vehicle & Parts 1.4 -1.5 1.9 7.2 7.5 8.3 9.0
 Retail Less Autos 0.3 0.4 1.1 0.4 2.6 2.6 3.9
  Gasoline Stations 0.4 1.8 3.9 -14.6 -2.7 -0.7 4.3
Food Service & Drinking Places Sales 0.7 0.5 0.3 9.8 6.2 3.4 5.9
close
large image