Retail Sales increased 0.6% for December 2010 and is up 7.9% this time a year ago. Retail sales increased 6.6% in comparison to all of 2009. Sales have recovered to pre-recession levels. The three month average of December, November, October 2010 has an increase of 7.8% in comparison to a year ago. November retail sales percentage change was 0.8%.
Motor Vehicles & Parts Dealers increased 1.1% from November to December. Gas retail sales increased 1.6%. Non-store retailer's sales increased 2.3% and strange of all strange, building materials, garden, supplies increased 2.0% in December. While these numbers are seasonally adjusted, one must wonder if those sales include snow removal. Pharmacies and personal care also jumped 2.3% from November to December.
The below graph is retail sales minus autos & parts, which only increased 0.5% from November to December 2010.
In terms of that great hyped Christmas retail season, this report shows it was a December bust, as reported earlier.
Overall, Retail trade sales, which is your Christmas shopping, only increased 0.7% from November, while Food & Drink dropped -0.6%.
General merchandise stores sales declined -0.7% for December with Department stores sales decreasing -1.9%. Miscellaneous retail stores dropped -1.3% while clothing declined -0.2% and electronics and appliances dropped -0.6%.
That said, it's clear Christmas sales were a boom in November, additionally we have a private retail sales report which is claiming Christmas was a 5.7% gain from last year. This private report doesn't contradict the above either, more people shopped til they dropped in November instead of December for the holidays.
Here are November retail sales unrevised.