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Advance Monthly Sales For Retail and Food Services: Latest Release:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $376.1 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent (±0.7%) from the previous month and 3.2 percent (±0.8%) above July 2006. Total sales for the May through July 2007 period were up 4.1 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago.

Econoday summed it up nicely with the following chart.

retail

Looking at the year/year growth it is clearly slowing over the last couple of years and below the recent “normal” range. But 3.2% is still at least acceptable (though not too much above inflation so real growth is slow). Furthermore, the year-to-date trend is setting higher highs and higher lows, so things may be on an uptrend.

I am going to stick with my classification as “good but deteriorating.”

EconomicData

Bad and Deteriorating Bad but Improving Good but Deteriorating Good and Improving
Existing Homes (June) Chicago Fed NAI (May) Consumer Confidence (June) Real Disposable Income
Employment (June) Durable Goods (June) Personal Spending (June) ISM Manufacturing (July)
New Home Sales (June) Construction Spending Retail sales (July) ISM Services (June)
ATA Truck Tonnage (June) CPI (June) Leading Indicators (June)  
GDP (Q2 Advance)      
International trade      
Industrial Production (June)      
Housing Starts (June)      
Durable Goods (June)      

Source: Retail Sales Good But Deteriorating