September Advance Retail Sales Disappoint, But Core Sales Were Fine

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 |  Includes: PMR, RETL, RTH, XRT
by: Doug Short

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.

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Here is the Core version, which excludes autos.

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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.

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Here is the year-over-year performance of at Core Retail Sales.

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Here is an overlay of Headline and Core Sales since 2000.

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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.