Thursday, May 12, 2011

USA Monthly Retail & Food Sales Edge Up (Charts) *April sales continue upward trend*

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U.S. Census Bureau: Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services


Official Statement by U.S. Census Bureau (May 12, 2011) The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $389.4 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, and 7.6 percent (±0.7%) above April 2010. Total sales for the February through April 2011 period were up 8.1 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The February to March 2011 percent change was revised from +0.4 percent (±0.5%)* to +0.9 percent (±0.4%). Retail trade sales were up 0.6 percent (±0.5%) from March 2011, and 7.9 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Gasoline stations sales were up 21.8 percent (±1.7%) from April 2010 and nonstore retailers sales were up 15.5 percent (±3.1%) from last year.
 
Trend USA monthly retail and food services sales continue short, intermediate, and long term uptrends. Sales have increased 10 consecutive months, 17 of the past 19 months,  and 22 of the past 25 months.

Cycle History USA monthly sales for retail and food services in April of $389.4 billion (advance estimate) are at a Post-Great Recession peak and an all-time high, exceeding both the March 2011 prior month all-time high and the November 2007 Pre-Great Recession peak of $378.4 billion. The Great Recession cyclical low was $332.7 billion in March 2009.

Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services (Chart) Below is a chart of USA monthly sales for retail and food services from January 2007 through the latest month reported.


Annual Sales for Retail and Food Services (Chart) Below is a chart of USA annual sales for retail and food services from 2004 through 2011 (estimated). Annual sales for 2011 are estimated by extrapolating 2011 actual monthly sales based on a 12-month year. Annual sales peaked in 2007 at $4.454 trillion, dipped in 2008 at $4.401 trillion, and reached a Great Recession cyclical low in 2009 at $4.093 trillion. The 2010 annual sales bounced upwards from the 2009 cyclical low to $4.354 trillion, which is just below the 2008 and 2009 annual sales. The 2011 estimated annual sales (utilizing only January through March 2011 annualized data) are off to a strong start and record pace.


Commentary Effective with the April 2011 report, monthly amounts were revised back for several years and are reflected in the charts above. The revision changes the narrative somewhat for prior monthly posts. April sales for retail and food services at $389.4 billion (advance estimate) are an all-time high. The prior 3 months, January 2011, February 2011, and March 2011 were the previous all-time highs. The past 4 months have exceeded the Pre-Great Recession November 2007 peak of $378.4 billion. Therefore, USA sales are well above the cyclical bottom of $332.7 billion in March 2009. Annual sales for 2010 were $4.354 trillion, which is higher than 2009 and just below 2007 and 2008. Since consumer spending, consumption, is a significant portion of the USA economy (60%+ of GDP), this upsurge should strengthen USA economic (GDP) growth. Howeveran increasing amount of consumer spending is now being diverted to gasoline with the increase in oil prices. This is reflected in the Gasoline Stations category. These sales were $41.6B, $42.8B, $44.6B, and $45.8B for January, February, March, and April 2011, respectively and are increasing faster than other segments of consumer spending. The increase year-over-year (YoY) from April 2010 to April 2011 was +21.8%.


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