January Advance Retail Sales Hugely Disappoint
The Advance Retail Sales Report released this morning shows that sales in January came in at -0.4% month-over-month, down from -0.1% in December, which was a downward revision from 0.2%. Today's headline number came in well below the Investing.com forecast of a 0.3% gain. Core Retail Sales (which excludes Autos) were unchanged at 0.0% MoM, down from 0.3% in December, which was a downward revision from 0.7%. The January data for this series was below the Investing.com forecast of 0.1%.
The first chart below is a log-scale snapshot of retail sales since the early 1990s. I've included an inset to show the trend in this indicator over the past several months.
Here is the Core version, which excludes autos.
Here is a year-over-year snapshot of overall series. Here we can see that the YoY series is off its peak in June of 2011 and has been relatively range-bound since April of last year.
Here is the year-over-year performance of at Core Retail Sales.
Here is an overlay of Headline and Core Sales since 2000.
After the January Consumer Price Index is released next week, we'll take a more detailed look at retail sales adjusted both for inflation and population growth.
Bottom Line: The Advance retail sales, both headline and core, came in worse than expected, and the year-over-year trends for both have been weakening since mid-2011.