Friday, June 1, 2012

USA Monthly Retail Sales Rise to All-Time High

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

USA monthly retail and food services sales increased a weaker $593 million to a post-recession high of $408.04 billion in April 2012. This is an increase of a mere +0.15% from the prior month March and an increase of +6.36% from the prior year April 2011. Both increases are below recent monthly gains.

The April monthly increase is the 11th consecutive increase and an all-time high. Sales have increased 21 of the past 22 months (since July 2010) and 33 of the past 37 months (since April 2009). The latest monthly data is an advance estimate, the prior month is preliminary, and earlier months were revised.

The latest month reported is a post-recession peak and an all-time high. The pre-recession peak was $378.94 billion in November 2007. The Great Recession cyclical low was $331.38 billion in March 2009.

The 8 largest components below comprise 87% of total monthly retail sales. An increased amount of consumer spending has been diverted to gasoline since 2007, the result of the increase in oil prices. This is reflected in the Gasoline (green) category, which continues above Food Services (purple). Autos & Parts (dark blue) is the largest component of overall sales, representing 18% of total sales.

Seeking Alpha