Recent Updates

  • Turkey: Consumer Confidence Index (Jun); South Africa: BOP, IIP (Q1)
  • GERMANR: Nominal Wage Index by Region (2017)
  • Germany: Federal Budget, Monthly Tax Receipts (May), Quarterly Real & Nominal Wage Index (Q1)
  • Spain: Industrial Turnover & New Orders, Services Sector Activity (Apr)
  • Denmark: Consumer Confidence (Jun), Property Price Indexes (Q1); Finland: Government Balances (Q1), Population (May), Sector Accounts (May); Norway: International Reserves (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Advance Slightly
by Tom Moeller  September 15, 2015

Overall retail sales including food services & drinking places during August increased 0.2% (1.6% y/y). A 0.3% rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. July's 0.7% gain and June's slight decline were little revised. Sales excluding autos notched 0.1% higher (0.4% y/y) after July's upwardly revised 0.6% rise and an unrevised 0.4% June gain. A 0.2% August increase had been expected. 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 do not include autos, gasoline, building materials & food services. They align with the consumer spending estimates in the GDP accounts. Sales in this grouping improved 0.4% (2.8% y/y) after a 0.6% July rise which was double the initial estimate. June's 0.3% rise was little changed.

Building materials & garden equipment sales declined 1.8% (0.8% y/y) and reversed July's upwardly revised increase. Light motor vehicle sales improved 0.7% (5.8% y/y), adding to July's 1.3% jump. The rise compared to a 1.5% increase in unit sales of cars and light trucks.

In other discretionary spending categories, clothing and accessory store sales improved 0.4% (2.2% y/y) after a 1.6% rise. General merchandise store sates also gained 0.4% (0.7% y/y) after improving 0.3%. Sales at electronics & appliance stores rose 0.2% (-2.8% y/y) on the heels of a 0.9% decline. Sporting goods, hobby shop, book & music store sales increased 0.3% (4.1% y/y) and added to a 1.3% jump. Internet sales improved 0.2% (7.5% y/y) following a 1.7% surge. Sales of furniture & home furnishings increased 0.8% (6.6% y/y) after a 1.0% decline. To the downside furniture store sales declined 0.9% (+2.4% y/y) and reversed July's rise. Restaurant sales gained 0.7% (6.1% y/y) following a 0.3% rise.

In the nondiscretionary spending categories, health & personal care store sales jumped 0.8% (4.3% y/y) following a 0.6% decrease. Food & beverage store sales increased 0.7% (2.0% y/y) after ticking up 0.1% for two consecutive months.

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

Retail Spending (%) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 0.2 0.7 -0.0 1.6 3.9 3.7 5.0
  Excluding Autos 0.1 0.6 0.4 0.4 3.1 2.7 4.1
  Non-Auto Less Gasoline, Building Supplies & Food Services 0.4 0.6 0.3 2.8 3.3 2.7 3.6
Retail Sales 0.1 0.8 -0.1 1.0 3.7 3.8 4.9
  Motor Vehicle & Parts 0.7 1.3 -1.6 5.8 7.5 8.3 9.0
 Retail Less Autos -0.0 0.6 0.4 -0.5 2.6 2.6 3.9
  Gasoline Stations -1.8 -0.6 1.2 -17.1 -2.7 -0.7 4.3
Food Service & Drinking Places Sales 0.7 0.3 0.3 6.1 6.2 3.4 5.9
close
large image