Sunday, August 14, 2011

USA Monthly Retail & Food Sales Rise in July (Charts) *Upward trend continues to another all-time high*

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


Trend The USA monthly retail and food services sales short-term trend continues upwards. The intermediate-term trend (6-month moving average) and long-term trend (12-month moving average) continue upwards. This July 2011 monthly increase is after the June 2011 increase and the May 2011 decrease, which snapped the 10 consecutive monthly increases (June 2010 to April 2011). Sales have increased 12 of the past 13 months (since July 2010) and 24 of the past 28 months (since April 2009).

Cycle History USA monthly sales for retail and food services in July 2011 of $390.42 billion (advance estimate) are a Post-Great Recession peak and an all-time high. This exceeds both the prior June 2011 all-time high of $388.61 billion and the Pre-Great Recession peak was $378.43 billion in November 2007. The Great Recession cyclical low was $332.67 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 the Pre-Great Recession Peak of $378.43 billion in November 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 to $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 July 2011 annualized data) are at a record pace.


Commentary July 2011 sales for retail and food services at $390.42 billion (advance estimate) continue the upwards and record-setting trend, after the decrease since May 2011. All-time highs have been set in 6 of the 7 months in 2011 (January 2011 through April 2011 plus June and July 2011), exceeding the Pre-Great Recession November 2007 peak of $378.43 billion. Therefore, USA sales are well above the cyclical bottom and Great Recession low of $332.67 billion in March 2009. Annual sales for 2010 were $4.354 trillion, which is higher than 2009 and just below 2007 and 2008. Annual sales for 2011 are on pace to exceed 2010. Since consumer spending, consumption, is a significant portion of the USA economy (60%+ of GDP), this continuing strong trend should sustain, if not strengthen, at least some USA economic (GDP) growth.

High Gasoline Prices An increased amount of consumer spending has been diverted to energy, especially gasoline, with the increase in oil prices. This is reflected in the Gasoline Stations category. These sales were $41.6B, $42.8B, $44.4B, and $44.9B, $45.2B, $44.4B, and $45.1B for January through July 2011, respectively and are increasing faster than other segments of consumer spending. The increase year-over-year (YoY) from June 2010 to June 2011 was +23.6%. For comparison, Gasoline Stations sales for 2010 (January though December) were: $37.3B, $37.2B, $37.8B, $37.6B, $36.8B, $36.1B, $36.5B, $37.0B, $37.9B, $39.0B, $39.7B, and $40.9B. The Great Recession cyclical low was $27.7B in December 2008. The Post-Great Recession cyclical peak has been $45.155B in May 2011. The Pre-Great Recession cyclical high was $46.7B in July 2008, which continues as the all-time high.

Official Statement by U.S. Census Bureau (August 12, 2011) The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $390.4 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, and 8.5 percent (±0.7%) above July 2010. Total sales for the May through July 2011 period were up 8.2 percent (±0.3%) from the same period a year ago. The May to June 2011 percent change was revised from +0.1 percent (±0.5%)* to +0.3 percent (±0.3%)*. Retail trade sales were up 0.5 percent (±0.5%)* from June 2011, and 8.9 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Gasoline stations sales were up 23.6 percent (±1.7%) from July 2010 and nonstore retailers sales were up 14.1 percent (±2.8%) from last year.

* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different than zero.

The advance estimates are based on a subsample of the Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,000 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms. Responding firms account for approximately 65% of the MARTS dollar volume estimate.


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