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Retail Sales Jump 0.8% but Expect More Store Closings

A December rate hike is all but baked in the cake after today's retail sales report. Sales rose a solid 0.8% in October and that is on top of an upward revision from 0.6% to 1.0% for September.


Dollar Basis

Retail Sales

Total sales estimates are shown in millions of dollars and are based on data from the Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey, Monthly Retail Trade Survey, and administrative records.

On a US dollar basis the top six sales categories look like this.

  1. Motor Vehicles and Parts: $96,815
  2. Food and Beverage Stores: $59,694
  3. Food Service and Drinking Places: $55,009
  4. General Merchandise Stores: $55,009
  5. Nonstore Retailers: $48,242
  6. Gasoline Stations: $34,816

The obvious conclusion is people like to eat, drink, and drive. Note that nonstore retailers are closing in on general merchandise stores.


Percentage Growth

Retail Sales; Percentage Growth

Month-over month the only down categories were food service and drinking places, furniture, and department stores.

Gasoline sales were up a huge 2.2% but that will go negative next month. Once again motor vehicles led the way.

Year-over-year, the down categories were electronic and appliance stores, general merchandise stores and department stores.

The year-over-year numbers and nonstore growth suggest more store closings and fewer store openings, a key driver of jobs and inventory builds.

 

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