Did May Retail Sales Miss Or Beat Consensus?

 |  Includes: RTH, XRT
by: Pat Stout


Zero Hedge headline – May Retail Sales Miss.

May Retail Sales missed expected 0.6% increase with a 0.3% print.

Did May Retail Sales beat or miss?

Relying upon headline figures without accounting for revisions can lead to the wrong conclusion. This Zero Hedge article headline says, "May Retail Sales Miss, …"

To determine if May retail sales beat or missed the data needs a baseline. March data will be set to 100, to make the math easy. Then we will look at April data without revision and use the May expectations to determine a May reading. April data originally printed with a 0.1% increase with May expected sales rise being pegged at 0.6%. This would place the May reading at 100.70.

March Base


April original print



May expected print



May expected reading


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Now take the March base and use the revised April data with the actual May print.

March Base


April revised print



May print



May reading


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A consensus appears to have expected May retail sales to have totaled 100.70 and instead the released data suggests May retail sales be 100.80. That looks like a retail sales beat, right? Of course, one could say the print of 0.3% was less than the 0.6% expected.

The way I view the data, the May retail sales were better than the expectations.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.