The Advance Retail Sales Report released yesterday morning shows that sales in September came in at -0.1% month-over-month, a decline from August's 0.2%. Today's headline number came below the Investing.com forecast of a 0.1% gain. Core Retail Sales (which excludes Autos) were up 0.4%, an increase from last month's 0.1%. Investing.com was spot-on in their forecast 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 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 September 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: The Advance retail sales came in weaker than expected, but the core number met the Investing.com forecast. The overall year-over-year trend for both headline and core has been weakening since mid-2011.