July Retail Sales: Up 0.6% MoM, Beats Forecast

The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for July released this morning showed an increase over the June figures. Headline sales came in at 0.6% month-over-month to one decimal. Today's headline number was above the Investing.com consensus of 0.4%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at 0.5% MoM. Figures were revised going back to June 2016.

Here is the introduction from today's report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $478.9 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 4.2 percent (± 0.9 percent) above July 2016. Total sales for the May 2017 through July 2017 period were up 3.9 percent (± 0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago. The May 2017 to June 2017 percent change was revised from down 0.2 percent (± 0.5 percent)* to up 0.3 percent (± 0.2 percent).

Retail trade sales were up 0.6 percent (± 0.5 percent) from June 2017, and up 4.3 percent (± 0.7 percent) from last year. Nonstore Retailers were up 11.5 percent (± 1.8 percent) from July 2016, while Building Materials and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers were up 8.3 percent (± 1.9 percent) 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