Sunday, October 16, 2011

USA Monthly Retail & Food Sales Rise (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 and long-term trend continue upwards. The September 2011 monthly increase is 4th consecutive increase and the 4th in the past 5 months. Sales have increased 14 of the past 15 months (since July 2010) and 26 of the past 30 months (since April 2009).

Cycle History USA monthly sales for retail and food services in September 2011 of $395.5 billion (advance estimate) are a Post-Great Recession peak and an all-time high. This exceeds both the prior August 2011 all-time high of $391.0 billion and the Pre-Great Recession peak was $378.4 billion in November 2007. The Great Recession cyclical low was $332.7 billion in March 2009.

Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services (Chart) Below is a multi-year chart of USA monthly sales for retail and food services including the Pre-Great Recession Peak of $378.4 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 September 2011 annualized data) are at a record pace.


Commentary September 2011 sales for retail and food services at $395.5 billion (advance estimate) continue the upwards and record-setting trend. Both the QoQ and YoY increases were strong. All-time highs have been set in 8 of the 9 months in 2011, exceeding the Pre-Great Recession November 2007 peak of $378.4 billion. Therefore, USA sales are well above the cyclical bottom and Great Recession low 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. 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 Below is a multi-year chart of selected USA monthly sales components. 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 (light brown) category now at $453.7 billion, which is just below the Grocery (red) category of $46.3 billion. The Autos and Parts (dark blue) category continues subdued at $68.8 billion. The Food Services (green) category has increased to $41.6 billion. Health and Personal Care continues at upward trend at $23.2 billion. The Electronics and Appliances (light blue) category is descending at $8.45 billion.


Official Statement by U.S. Census Bureau (October 14, 2011) The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $395.5 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month and 7.9 percent (±0.7%) above September 2010. Total sales for the July through September 2011 period were up 8.0 percent (±0.7%) from the same period a year ago. The July to August 2011 percent change was revised from virtually unchanged (±0.5%)* to +0.3 percent (±0.2%). Retail trade sales were up 1.1 percent (±0.5%) from August 2011, and 8.1 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Gasoline stations sales were up 20.3 percent (±1.7%) from September 2010 and nonstore retailers sales were up 10.1 percent (±2.3%) from last year.

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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