Dec. Retail May Surprise to the Upside - First Seasonally Adjusted $500B Dec.
Last year's seasonally adjusted data underwhelmed -
We are on track for our second consecutive $6 trillion MARTS retails sales year. The Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) report has reported eleven consecutive months with Seasonally Adjusted (SA) total MARTS sales over $500 billion a month. The Non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) MARTS data has been recorded over $500 billion a month eight of the past nine months. Last December the record $563 Billion NSA MARTS was reported as falling short of $500 billion. What can we expect this December? Will the Legacy Media explain the difference between non-seasonally and seasonally adjusted data if the seasonally adjusted data falls short of the $1.1 trillion in November-December combined sales expectations?
Month to month the non-seasonally adjusted data is expected to grow 7% to 17% this month. Last month the NSA MARTS was $538 billion. If we grow only 7% then we would hit $575 billion. A spike of 17% would garner $629 billion in sales. There is early data indicating that we could see $1.1 billion is combined November and December sales. If that is non-seasonally adjusted data this means that we will see over $562 billion in sales. It would be remarkable is we broke $600 billion in December. All sectors are expected to grow other than Gasoline Station Sales (GASS) and Building Material and Garden Equipment (BMGE) sales. The December to December growth changes have been slowing since 2006. It appears that Furniture and Furnishing (FHF,) Electronics and Appliance Sales (EAS,) Health and Personal Care (HOC) sales, Clothing and Clothing Accessories (CAC), Sporting Goods, Hobbies, Books and Music (SGHBM) sales, and Miscellaneous (MISC) sales have shifted to Non-Store Retail (NSR) sales.
December to December the NSA MARTS data is expected to grow 3.5% to 5%. If we see 3.5% to 5% growth from last year's $563 billion in sales then we could see $582 billion to $591 billion in sales. The December to December sales could drop for EAS, GASS, and SGHBM. The largest gains are expected in NSR, CAC, Food and Beverage Stores (FBS) and Food a Drinking Places (FDP.)
Current Year data is currently at $5.64 Trillion - up 3.5%. If we grow at this same rate then last year's $6.021trillion should be roughly 6.23 trillion. This would mean that we could see close to $590 billion in December sales, or December sales plus revisions to the October and November Data.This is entirely possible based on a mid-point of $602 billion for the month to month growth.
The Seasonally Adjusted data We have been over $520 billion during June, July, August, September, October and November. Anything reported less than $530 billion would be a travesty, based on the potential for our first $600 billion December. The seasonally adjusted month to month data is a bit disconcerting. Last December we had seasonally adjusted weakness in almost all sectors. The data for Motor Vehicles and Parts (MVP) sales, FHF, EAS, Food and Beverage Stores (FBS) and Health and Personal Care (HPC) Sales could grow or contract. Normally the data points one direction or the other. Ironically, the BMGE sales is expected to grow seasonally adjusted. Month to month sales are expected to expand by 0.3% to 1.06%, or from $529 billion to $559 billion. Expect something closer to $535B to $545B based on the month to month growth.
The seasonally adjusted December to December should Grow by 3.5% to 4.5%, and may hit 5.5%. Last December we had $499.9 billion in sales. This means that we should hit between %517 billion and $527 billion in sales, based on month to month growth. Remember tat his would be our first $500 Billion dollar December and the first time that we had 12 consecutive months of SA MARTS sales over $500 billion. The sectors to watch here are Non-Store Retail (NSR) which could grow 8% to 13%, Food and Drinking places, which could grow 4%-8%, and General Merchandise sales which could grow 1% to 3%.
The current year sales are at $5.719 Trillion. If we just grew at the average monthly rate we would hit $6.228 trillion, or an increase of $519B. Last year the seasonally adjusted MARTS number was just $6.02 trillion.
It is entirely possible that we will record our first $600 Billion MARTS retail month and that it will not be reported as such. This will cause a problem for the Legacy Media who have been reporting record Black Friday Sales, Record Small Business Saturday Sales, Record Cyber Monday Sales, and a record $1.1 trillion November-December holiday sales. We "will" report our twelfth consecutive $500 billion seasonally adjusted MARTS retail sales month. We "will" record our best December MARTS ever, and it may break through $600 billion for the first time ever, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. The month to month data may be "noisy" on a seasonally adjusted basis. Expect the Legacy Media to report up as down, or as disappointing.
It's the Economy.
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