Reclaiming Common Sense

Record Retail Sales for 2017

Last month's November Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) .report was very strong. We saw November to November, current month only, growth of  6.35%. The same article reported that there was an annual growth rate for the rolling year at 4.51%. The indications then were that this year would be the best year ever for retail sales. The article "Economic Urban Legends" explained how we have emerged from a Retail Winter and that we are not in a "Retail Ice Age" as others purport. The early indications have been that there was a surge in Pre-Christmas sales as compared to last year. The Sales through November of this year were greater than all of 2011 and almost matched all of 2012.

Record Annual Sales of over 5.756 Trillion Dollars. We are hearing all about an alleged comment by President Trump and seeing video of Nancy Pelosi calling out the efforts of "Five White Guys" to fix a broken immigration system. Meanwhile, the economy is rocking. We almost saw $6 trillion in retail sales for the first time ever. Even at 5.76 trillion dollars it was the best retail sales year ever. EVER. The data gets even better.

The Monthly Changes were huge in some sectors. Hobby and Sports jumped over 46% from November to December. Non-Store retail and Electronics and Appliance each surged by over 20% from November to December. The table tells the story,

The December to December data showed improvement in 12 of 13 sectors. The only sector that had a decline in December sales from 2016 was the Hobby and Sporting Goods Sector. Huge spikes in Furniture and Furnishings, Building Materials and Garden Equipment, and Electronics and appliance could bode well for new home and existing home sales data. The table tells the story.

The Annual Growth Rate just fell short of 8.0%. If you compare this to December of last year when we had annual growth of 3.37% this is huge. Growth in retail carries over to growth in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product.)

Three Sectors Still Lagging? Three sectors still have not returned to their 2007 level of sales: Gasoline, Electronics and Appliances, and Sporting Goods and Hobbies.

November's Non-Store Retail data was revised up by $1.4 billion. More than $62 billion dollars was spent online during November.  Nearly $76 billion was spent on-line during December. This is a big "effing" deal as Joe Biden would say.

The economy is firing on all cylinders. We added more workers to the economy during 2017 than we did during 2016. There were more full-time jobs during 2017 than 2016. Sales are up. Companies may hire more salespeople which are good entry level jobs. I have been screaming at the bloody television as I have researched and written this article. Yes, the website borrows its name from an often reported quotation "It's the Economy, Stupid."

If we are winning and nobody mentions the box score why are we playing?

It's the effing Economy.