The Census Bureau’s Advance Retail Sales Report for June released this morning showed a slight decrease over the May figures.
Headline sales came in at -0.2% month-over-month to one decimal. Today’s headline number was below the Investing.com consensus of 0.1%. Core sales (ex Autos) also came in at -0.2% MoM. Figures were revised going back to May 2016.
Here is the introduction from today’s report:
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $473.5 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent (± 0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and 2.8 percent (± 0.9 percent) above June 2016. Total sales for the April 2017 through June 2017 period were up 3.8 percent (± 0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago. The April 2017 to May 2017 percent change was revised from down 0.3 percent (± 0.5 percent)* to down 0.1 percent (± 0.2 percent)*.
Retail trade sales were down 0.1 percent (± 0.5 percent)* from May 2017, and up 3.0 percent (± 0.7 percent) from last year. Nonstore Retailers were up 9.2 percent (± 1.8 percent) from June 2016, while Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, & Music Stores were down 8.9 percent (± 2.1 percent) from last year. [view full report]
The chart below is a log-scale snapshot of retail sales (NYSEARCA:XLY) since the early 1990s. The two exponential regressions through the data help us to evaluate the long-term trend of this key economic indicator.
The year-over-year percent change provides another perspective on the historical trend. Here is the headline series.
Here is the year-over-year version of Core Retail Sales.
The next two charts illustrate retail sales “Control” purchases, which is an even more “Core” view of retail sales. This series excludes Motor Vehicles & Parts, Gasoline, Building Materials as well as Food Services & Drinking Places. The popular financial press typically ignores this series, but it a more consistent and reliable reading of the economy.
Here is the same series year-over-year. Note that the current level is above both highlighted values at the start of recessions since the inception of this series in the early 1990s.
For a better sense of the reduced volatility of the “Control” series, here is a YoY overlay with the headline retail sales.
Bottom Line: June sales showed another slight decrease over the previous month and figures were worse than forecast. On Monday we’ll take a closer look at Real Retail Sales.