Economic Charts

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monthly Retails Sales

Decembers Retail Sales numbers were a disappointment compared to what was forecast.  The Retails Sales number is a measure of change in the total value of sales at the retail level.  The Core Retail Sales number is a the same as Retail Sales excluding automobiles.  Retail sales is considered to be a way to gauge consumer spending.  Decembers Retail Sales forecast called for 0.8%, but the actual headline number came in at 0.6%.  When removing Auto's from the picture (Core Retails Sales) the forecast number called for 0.7% change, but the actual headline number was 0.5%.  The graph below shows you where we fell off in terms of numbers in 2007/2008 time frame and then recovered in 2010.

I think the following graph is really telling which is the YOY change in retail sales.  Look how the change year over year in 2008 to 2009 too a dip which wasn't seen in the crash in 2000.  Sure 2000 saw a dip, but none like what we saw in 2008/2009.  It will be very interesting to see where we go from here.

The following graph shows the month over month changes in retail sales as well.  Notice how Retail Sales peaked in October and then fell from there.  We must watch what the next months bring to us to see how strong retail sales become.

Core Retail Sales numbers are presented in the graph below, remember Core Retail Sales exclude automobile sales.  When auto sales are stripped out we see that December 2010 wasn't that great of a month and for the stores August - November was the strongest (Christmas shopping).  Now that we return to slumping retail sales, we see that our Initial Unemployment claims the past  2 weeks had risen as well.

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