Reclaiming Common Sense

What Retail Ice Age?

Friday was a busy day for economic data with the release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data and the Monthly and Annual Retail ) data. The CPI data showed a total inflation rate of 2.2% with larger increases in shelter and energy costs. The MARTS data revealed that some sectors are showing weakness, and some sectors have not recovered to pre-recession levels. This is what you may be re. What it also revealed is that the annual growth rate remains over 4% and is better than last September. This is important because Personal Consumption Expenditures are a large portion of the quarterly GDP growth.

Retail Sales Dropped Month to Month - Surged August to August.  It is called Fall. Spending dropped as Summer ended. Sales dropped from August to September for twelve of thirteen sectors. Only Gasoline Sales increased month to month. The important trend here is that nine of thirteen sectors saw an increase from August 2016  to August 2017. Ten of thirteen sectors have shown January to August sales as compared to January to August of 2016.  The beleaguered Electronics and Appliance Sector continues to show weakness. Miscellaneous store sales and Health and were also weak.

Three Sectors have not returned to pre-recession levels of sales for the month of September. Electronics and Appliances, Hobby, and Health and Personal Care are the three sectors that failed to perform as well as the other ten sectors.

The Data from July was revised Lower - The data from August was revised higher. The data revisions to July were revised down from the advance value to the preliminary July value and from the Preliminary value  to the final value. The net effect is that the annual rate of growth still exceeds 4%. The contribution to the GDP by Personal consumption was 70%. Could we see an Annual GDP of 2.8% or higher by the end of the year?

It's the economy.