Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

The Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) data measures where we are spending or money. We have seen that some sectors have not recovered to pre-recession levels. Some sector were barely impacted by the recession. Some sectors have been slowing during the tail end of this recovery. It has been an incomplete recovery.  This month's report revealed that there were some sizable surges in month to month spending. There were also nearly a billion dollar of downward revisions to the October data.  It also revealed that there were some declines in same month spending from November 2015 to 2016. Some sectors still are not back at November 2007 levels.


Huge Month to Month Gains in Furniture, Electronics, Clothing, Hobby, Non-Store Retail and General Merchandise Sales. Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit with a vengeance. General Merchandise sales jumped 1.46% this month. Furniture Sales were up 12.20%. Clothing was up 15.36%. Non-store retail spiked 19.59%. Electronics and Appliance shot up 31.94%.


Not as Good For Some as Compared to last November. General Merchandise fell by 1.43 compared to last November. Electronics and appliances were 2.52% lower than last November.Hobby spending was up 1.63%  Clothing sales were up 1.94%. Furniture was still up a solid 7.2% over last November.  Non-Store Retail is still rocking the numbers by increasing 15.27% over last November.


There was 828,000,000 less dollars spent during October 2016 than originally reported. Auto sales were revised down 685 million dollars. Health and Personal Care Sales were revised down 381 million. Building Material sales were revise down 364 million . Miscellaneous retail was revised down 230 million,  Clothing was down 172 million, Food and Beverage stores were down 163 million, Non-store Retail was revised down 119 million, electronics and appliance 78 million, and Hobby and Sports down 40 million. Gasoline  spending increased 479 million (driving to see relatives and friends?)  and General Merchandise Sales went up 534 million dollars.The September data was revised up by 662 million. This means that the sales for the past two months have been revised down by a total of 166 million dollars.


Slowing Sales November to November for General Merchandise And Electronics Sales. This is a little concerning because we have seen a regular pattern of same month declines in electronics and appliances almost the entire year. It is amazing that the electronic and appliance sales are lower than last November with the huge October to November spike in Electronic and Appliance sales.


Three Sectors Still have not recovered to Pre-recession Levels. Gasoline Sales, Appliance Sales, or Furniture Sales are all lower than they were during November 2007. It is the opinion of this writer that the Great Recession was created by a waning housing market, a weakening jobs market,e plus a huge spike in gasoline prices. Right now we have a weakening jobs market,a weak housing market, historically speaking,  rising gasoline prices, and a weak new and existing home data.


Retail Sales are Growing - It may be the Best Year Ever. Unless the wheels fall off the retail sales boom we will end with a better total retail sales level than ever recorded. The retail sales have been slowing - yet still growing. The recovery is incomplete. Not all sectors have fully recovered to pre-recession levels. Some sectors are faltering now.Will rising gasoline prices set off another retail recession?


It's the economy.