Reclaiming Common Sense

Last Year we Had Our Second Consecutive $6 Trillion Retail Sales Year

Non-Seasonally Adjusted Drop in Sales will Be Reported as Record January


The data that is recorded is the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey data, or MARTS data. The data that is reported is the seasonally adjusted (SA) MARTS Data. Some in the media focus on the month to month changes while others examine the current year growth. This column addresses changes in the same month data, the month to month data, the rolling year data and the current year data. This month sales will drop NSA month to month and rise January to January. The Seasonally adjusted data is expected to improve month to month and January to January.


The Non-Seasonally Adjusted will drop from the Christmas Sales Peak. Last month we recorded $597B in total sales, pushing us to $6.237 trillion for the entire year. The month to month non-seasonally adjusted data is expected to drop 18% to 21%. All sectors will see and record declines in NSA sales. This means that we should see $471 billion to $490 billion in total sales. The NSA MARTS data is expected to improve January to January by at least 3.75% and is expected in the 4% to 6% range. Last January we had 459.43 billion in total sales. This means that we could record $477 billion to $486 billion in total sales.  The current year data is going to be the same as the current month data for January. A current year growth rate of 3.75% yields $476 billion in sales. What to watch: Food and Beverage Sales (FBS,) Food and Drinking Places (FDP) Sales, Non-Store Retail (NSR,) and Motor Vehicle and Parts (MVP) sales. Non-store retail should grow 10% to 15% from last January's 58 billion in sales to between $64 billion to $67 billion. The Non-seasonally adjusted MARTS should be around $480 billion.


Seasonally Adjusted sales are expected to grow month to month and January to January. We have had 20 consecutive months, after the revisions last month, where the SA MARTS has eclipsed $500 billion a month. Last Month we had $529 billion in total sales. Last January we had $507 billion. It is expected that we will report 0.25% to 0.50% growth month to month and 3% to 5% January to January. The month to month data means that we should hit between $530 billion and $532 billion in sales. The same month data means that we should hit between $528 and $532 billion in total sales. Expect a record $530 billion. There could be a decline or two in the SA MARTS on a month to month basis. Declines are expected in MVP, Clothing and Accessories (CAC,) and Sporting Goods, Hobbies, Books and Music (SGHBM.) The largest gains are expected in Build Material and Garden Equipment (BMGE,) Miscellaneous sales, and Health and Personal Care (HPC) Sales. The January to January changes are expected to be the largest in NSR, BMGE, Food and Drinking Places (FDP) and Food and Beverage Stores (FBS.) Expect a seasonally adjusted sales level well over $525 billion and most likely higher than December's $529 billion at $530 billion


As always, watch the revisions to the prior data. Watch the growth rates. realize that we are in uncharted territory with 21 consecutive months of over $500 billion in sales.


It's the Economy.