The Advance Retail Sales Report released yesterday morning shows that sales in June came in at 0.4% month-over-month, a slight dip below May's 0.5% (a downward revision from 0.6%). Yesterday's headline number came in well below the Investing.com forecast of 0.8%. Core Retail Sales (excluding Autos) were flat at 0.0% (to two decimal place, 0.04%), down from last month's 0.3%. Investing.com was looking for 0.4%.
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, despite the upward trend since the middle of last year, the YoY series has been slowing since its peak in June of 2011.
Here is the same chart excluding the volatile gasoline component.
Here is an overlay of the two since 2000, which gives us a better sense of the added YoY volatility that gasoline is responsible for in the overall retail sales number. For more on gasoline price volatility, see this weekly update.
After the June Consumer Price Index is released today, we'll take a more detailed look at retail sales adjusted both for inflation and population growth.
Bottom Line: Retail sales came in weaker than expected, and the overall trend has been slowing month-over-month, and the year-over-year trend has been one of broad decline for the past 22 months.