Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

Nine Sectors had their best August, EVER.  You will not read this many other places. Auto and Auto Parts - 105 million. Food and Beverage Stores 60 billion. General Merchandise and Food and Drinking Places, both over 57 billion dollars.Non-Store Retail - 49 billion.  Building Material and Garden 32.5 billion. Furniture and Furnishings - 10 billion dollars

Three Sectors have not returned to pre-recession levels of August Sales. Electronic and Appliance sales have been dropping for the past two years. There may be a huge uptick after two hurricanes. Gasoline sales are still not back to the 2007 levels nor the Ike Spike of 2008. Hobby and Sports are lagging, too.

A Six Trillion Dollar Economy

The monthly retail report for the month of August was reported as being down, using seasonally adjusted data. The problem is that the seasonally adjusted data does not tell the proper story. The data indicates that we are still on track for our best year ever. Nine Sectors had their best August, EVER. Three Sectors, though, have not returned to pre-recession levels of August Sales. Three sectors dropped from the levels that they recorded last August. Two sectors are down from where they were at the same time last year (January to August.) The revisions were down for July from where they were reported last month, and June was revised higher than it was reported last month. "Other than that," the report was straightforward.

Are we on track for the first Six Trillion dollar Economy in United states History? A million million is a trillion. We have spent 3.742 trillion dollars this year - and we aren't even into the Christmas Season. Are we having a Retail Ice Age? No. We are seeing  a shift from anchor stores and Big Box to the little box on your lap. I went to purchase a book for my daughter's honors English Class at a bookstore. We ordered it on Labor day - they said it would take seven to ten days to get in due to the holiday. I went to pick it up yesterday - wrong book - not the compilation - only book one. I ordered part two through them - it might have taken 3 to five days for it to arrive. That was last night. While in a drive-through line I was able to order  the "part two" book for $1 more than it would have cost in the store. It will be here tomorrow, Saturday, not next week Monday or Tuesday. Non-store retail rocks.

Retail was up over July 2017 and up over August 2016. The revisions for June were higher - not quite enough to offset the downward revisions for July 2017. Are the Electronics and appliance sales shifting from "Store" to "Non-store?" Some book sales are moving that way. Music is moving that way, too. Now Groceries?

It's the economy.

Two sectors dropped from the levels that they recorded last August.  It isn't a surprise that Electronics and Appliances dropped from the level they had last August. They are also seeing lower sales this calendar year compared to last year - and the calendar year, year to date for 2015.It also isn't a surprise that the Sporting Goods and Hobby Sector is down from last August. Their current year data is down 8% from last year. Health care and personal care is flat compared to last August and down from 2016 for the current year data.

June was revised higher - July was revised lower. The revisions table pretty much say it all .