Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

The Back to School Sales Should Continue Boosting Retail Sales


Last month we received a very strong Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) report.  "July Retail Report Speaks Volumes" detailed how all sectors except "Sporting Goods and Hobbies" (SGHB) saw same month growth of 6.41%, and saw current year growth, January through July, of 5.51%, and the prior twelve months grew at a rate pf 5.26%. When the monthly growth is greater than the current year growth the growth potential is to go higher than its current projection. When the current year data is growing faster that the rolling year, or trailing year, data then the prospects are for faster growth for the current year than the prior year. Here's what to expect this month.


Month to Month all Sectors should rise except possibly Food and Drinking Places and Food and Beverage Stores. The data is pointing to the largest, non-seasonally adjusted, gains in  the SGHB sector, Clothing sector, and Furniture and Furnishings sector.


August to August Sales should improve in all sectors except the Sporting Goods and the Electronics and Appliances Sectors. The largest gains should be recorded in the Non-Store Retail (NSR) sector Building Material and Garden Equipment (BMGE) sector, the Gasoline Station Sector (GASS,) and the Furniture and Furnishing Sector.


Seven Months of Record Current Month Sales, going for eight. All of the data for the current month, the January report, February report, March report and so on, were the best sales data for January, February, March, and so on. The way that it was reported was using the seasonally adjusted data. If you examine the non-seasonally adjusted data the sales for 2013 were greater than 2012. The sales during 2014 were better than 2013. The total dollar sales were record years  during 2015, 2016, and 2017. We are in a Retail Renaissance. Last month this column noted that we had our third consecutive month with an annual growth rate of over 5%. We have had five periods of time with protracted 5% growth. We have only had one retail recession since the data started to be kept back during 1992.  August.ow fast can the retail economy grow? Can it hit 6%, 8%, or even 10% during this cycle? We have had record levels of full-time workers all year this year.We had our best January, February, March, FT levels ever, all the way through August.


The economy is growing. Retail sales are growing. Some sales have moved from "Brick and Mortar" stores to "Non-Store Retail" locations. Sales are sales. The warehouse worker may be replacing the big box worker. People are still needs to make sure that things get sold and moved. Watch the same month growth. Watch the rolling year growth. Watch the current year growth.


It's the economy.