The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for October released this morning showed a slight increase over the September figures. Headline sales came in at 0.2% month-over-month to one decimal. Today's headline number was fractionally above the consensus of 0.1%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at 0.1% MoM. August and September figures were revised.

Here is the introduction from today's report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $486.6 billion, an increase of 0.2 percent (±0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and 4.6 percent (±0.7 percent) above October 2016. Total sales for the August 2017 through October 2017 period were up 4.3 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The August 2017 to September 2017 percent change was revised from up 1.6 percent (±0.5 percent) to up 1.9 percent (±0.2 percent).

Retail trade sales were up 0.2 percent (±0.5 percent)* from September 2017, and were up 4.7 percent (±0.7 percent) from last year. Building Materials and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers were up 8.8 percent (±2.1 percent) from October 2016, while Gasoline Stations were up 7.5 percent (±1.4 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