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Summary

  • 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

100.00

April original print

+0.1%

100.10

May expected print

+0.6%

100.70

May expected reading

100.70

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

March Base

100.00

April revised print

+0.5%

100.50

May print

+0.3%

100.80

May reading

100.80

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.

Source: Did May Retail Sales Miss Or Beat Consensus?