Retail Sales - May 2011

Retail Sales decreased -0.2% for May 2011 and are up 7.7% from the same time last year. April retail sales percentage change was +0.3%, revised downward. Autos dropped -3.2% in a month.



Retail sales are not adjusted for price increases. Gas slowed to a 0.3% increase from last month and is up 22.3% from a year ago. Food and drink store sales dropped -0.5%, with groceries declining -0.4% in May. Grocery retail sales are up 5.8% from a year ago. Nonstore retailers increased 1.2% but are up 15.9% from a year ago.

Retail trade is retail sales minus food and beverage services and it dropped -0.3% in May. Nonstore retailers are things like online shopping, direct sales and from the yearly increase, 15.9%, shopping online has grown in 2011.

Electronics and appliances are down -1.3% for May, sporting goods are down -0.4%, furniture is down -1.7%.

While this appears to be a slight slow down, there is a reason advanced retail sales are often reported three month tallies. There is variation in the monthly reported figures. The three month tally, from March to May is up 7.5% in comparison to the same period a year ago.

Retail sales correlates to personal consumption, which is about 70% of GDP growth. Yet GDP has inflation removed from it's numbers. This is why Wall Street jumps on these retail sales figures. Lord help them if America stops shoppin'.

The below graph is retail sales minus autos & parts, which increased 0.3% this month.



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