The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for October released this morning showed continued growth improvement over the substantial September increase. Headline sales came in at 0.8% month-over-month to one decimal, and September number was revised upward from 0.6% to 1.0%. Today's headline number beat the consensus of 0.6%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at 0.8% MoM, which beat the consensus of 0.5%, and the September Core was revised upward from 0.5% to 0.7%.

Here is the introduction from today's report:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $465.9 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, and 4.3 percent (±0.9%) above October 2015. Total sales for the August 2016 through October 2016 period were up 3.3 percent (±0.7%) from the same period a year ago. The August 2016 to September 2016 percent change was revised from up 0.6 percent (±0.5%) to up 1.0 percent (±0.1%).

Retail trade sales were up 1.0 percent (±0.5%) from September 2016, and up 4.3 percent (±0.7%) from last year. Nonstore retailers were up 12.9 percent (±1.6%) from October 2015, while Miscellaneous stores retailers were up 9.5 percent (±4.2%) from last year. [view full report]

The chart below is a log-scale snapshot of retail sales since the early 1990s. The two exponential regressions through the data help us to evaluate the long-term trend of this key economic indicator.

Retail Sales Trends

The year-over-year percent change provides another perspective on the historical trend. Here is the headline series.

Retail Sales YoY

Core Sales

Here is the year-over-year version of Core Retail Sales.

Core Retail Sales YoY