Retail Sales: Increases Modestly

December 11, 2015
Retail Sales ROSE by 0.2% in November, compared with the market consensus for an increase of 0.3%. Retail sales are now 1.4% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 4.9%. Spending at motor vehicle dealers fell by 0.4%. Core Retail Sales ROSE by 0.4%, compared with the market consensus for an increase 0.3%. The October estimate was revised lower from 0.2% to 0.1%. Core retail sales are now 0.7% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 3.9%. In November, gains at grocery stores (+0.7%), general merchandise stores (+0.7%), nonstore retailers (+0.6%), clothing stores (+0.8%), miscellaneous retailers (+0.7%), sporting goods, hobbies, etc. (+0.8%), electronic and appliance stores (+0.6%) were partially offset by declines in gasoline stations, primarily due to low gasoline prices (-0.8%), building materials (-0.3%) and furniture & home furnishing (-0.3%). Core Retail Sales ex Gasoline ROSE by 0.5% and are now 3.6% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 5.0%. Bottom Line: Total retail spending rose in November but less than expectations. Core retail sales also increased and were led by gains in grocery and general merchandise stores. While gasoline is a volatile component, both overall and core retail sales have been decelerating on a year over year basis. Core Sales ex-gasoline stations and ex-building materials during October and November were 2.4% above their Q3 averages, suggesting that real consumer spending will continue to add positively to Q4 GDP.
Article by contingentmacro