December Retail Sales Plunge on Cheap Gas

The December 2014 Retail Sales report shows retail sales declined -0.9% for the month.  As gasoline prices plunged, sales as gas stations dropped a whopping -6.5%.  Holiday sales on the other hand, were up 4.0%.  Retail sales have now increased 3.2% from a year ago.  December retail sales was not just about gas prices as most categories had monthly declines.

November Retail Sales Solid on Autos, Up 0.7%

The November 2014 Retail Sales report shows retail sales increased 0.7% for the month.  This is when gasoline prices have plunged, pulling down retail gas sales.  October retail sales were revised upward by 0.2 percentage points to a 0.5% increase.  Retail sales have now increased 5.1% from a year ago.  November's increase was due to auto sales, although other retail sales categories increased.

September Retail Sales Disappoint

September 2014 Retail Sales decreased -0.3% for the month.  August was revised to a 0.6% increase.  Retail sales have now increased 4.3% from a year ago.  September's decline was due to autos and gas, yet many sales categories were down for the month.  Even Online retailers declined while Electronics and Appliance stores had an unusual 3.4% monthly increase.

Retail Sales February Sign of Life Squashed by Harsh Winter Sales

February 2014 Retail Sales increased 0.3% for the month.  This is the first increase in three months.  January was revised all the way down to -0.6% and December's drop was -0.3%.  Retail sales have now increased just 1.5% from a year ago.  January's decline was due to a real nose dive in auto sales, down -2.3% for the month.  Online retailers continue their rise with a 6.3% increase from a year ago.

Retail Sales Up 0.2% for December as Holiday Sales Grow By 3.8%

December 2013 Retail Sales increased 0.2% for the month on groceries, booze, gas and clothing.  Retail sales have now increased 4.1% from a year ago.  Electronics & Appliances tanked with their sales down -2.5% for December.  Auto sales plunged -1.9% from the previous month, but that's OK, they are still up 6.2% for the year.  Holiday sales increased 3.8%, a fine showing of more consumerism in America.

Consumer Spending Up 0.5% in November, Biggest Real Gain in 21 Months

The November personal income and outlays report shows a 0.5% change in consumer spending, even when adjusted for inflation.  This is the highest monthly percentage change in consumer spending adjusted for inflation since February 2012 and is good news for Q4 GDP.  October consumer spending was revised up to 0.4% for the month.

Retail Sales Saved by Autos, Up 0.2% for August 2013

August 2013 Retail Sales increased by 0.2% on auto sales, which increased 0.9% from last month.  Motor vehicle dealers are having a good year.  Their sales have increased 12.3% from a year ago.  Without motor vehicles & parts sales, August retail sales would have been a 0.1% increase from last month.  Building materials and clothing dragged retail sales down as they declined -0.9% and -0.8% respectively.

Flat Line Real Consumer Spending and Income for July 2013

The July personal income and outlays report shows no change in real consumer spending, which is really bad news for GDP.   Not adjusted for inflation consumer spending rose a scant 0.1%.  Real personal income isn't any better with no change for the month.  Personal income not adjusted for inflation rose 0.1%.

Q2 2013 GDP Revised Upward to 2.5% on the June Trade Deficit Shrink

Q2 2013 real GDP was revised significantly upward to 2.5% from the 1.7% originally reported   The revision gain was almost all a reduction in the trade deficit as we predicted earlier.  The shrink in the trade deficit alone added 0.8 percentage points to Q2 GDP, a welcome change.  Unfortunately this is a fluke.