The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for January was released this morning. Headline sales came in at -0.3% month-over-month to one decimal. Today's headline number was below the consensus of 0.2%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at 0.0% MoM. November and December figures were revised.

Here is the introduction from today's report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January 2018, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $492.0 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent (±0.5 percent)* from the previous month, but 3.6 percent (±0.7 percent) above January 2017. Total sales for the November 2017 through January 2018 period were up 4.9 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The November 2017 to December 2017 percent change was revised from up 0.4 percent (±0.5 percent)* to virtually unchanged (±0.3 percent)*.

Retail trade sales were down 0.3 percent (±0.5 percent)* from December 2017, but 3.9 percent (±0.7 percent) above last year. Nonstore Retailers were up 10.2 percent (±1.4 percent) from January 2017, while Gasoline Stations were up 9.0 percent (±1.6 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