The November Retail Report Reveals Continued Economic Strength

The level of retail sales have been on a record pace all year long. Last month was the first time that we ever recorded over $6 trillion in total retail sales during a 12 month period of time. This should be the first time that we record a $6 trillion total sales year at the end of the year. This column produced a forecast article titled "November Retail Forecast: All Registers Ringing" in which it was projected that we would see:

  • A month to month growth surge, non-seasonally adjusted, in at least five sectors. The largest gains should be in Furniture and Home Furnishings(F/F), Electronics and Appliance (EAS,) Clothing (CAC,) Sporting Goods and Hobbies (SGHBM,) and non-store retail (NSR;)
  • Building Material and Garden (BMGE,) Health and Personal Care (HPC,) and Gasoline (GASS) sales could fall month to month;
  • Seasonally Adjusted Health and Personal Care, Sporting Goods and Hobbies, and even Furniture and Furnishings should have fallen month to month
  • Same month growth reported in all sectors, seasonally adjusted. The largest growth should be seen in Non-Store Retail, Building Material and Garden Equipment, Furniture and Furnishings, and Motor Vehicles.
  • The total sales during the next two months should exceed $1.1 trillion. The thought was $530 billion this month and possibly $600 billion next month.
  • The rolling year growth rate should exceed 5% and may hit 6%.

What was recorded, non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) and what was reported, Seasonally adjusted, this November?

We saw Non-Seasonally Adjusted Month to Month growth in  seven sectors. The largest growth, month to month was in EAS, NSR, SGHBM, CAC, and GM. We did see month to month drops in BMGE, GASS, Motor Vehicle and Parts (MVP,) Miscellaneous (MISC) sales, and Food Drinking Places (FDP). We saw same month growth in all sectors except SGHBM, as expected,

We saw Seasonally Adjusted growth month to month, in all sectors except GASS, BMGE, CAC, and FDP.  We saw growth in HPC, SGHBM, and F/F even when we were not expecting it to occur. We saw seasonally adjusted same month growth in all sectors.

The Rolling Year growth rate, non-seasonally adjusted, remained above 5%. The Rolling Year growth rate was 5.27%. This is important because retail sales make up a large amount of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) segment of the GDP. The Rolling year growth rate for the seasonally adjusted data was slightly lower at 5.20%. This is the number that matters for the GDP data because the GDP data is all seasonally adjusted data.

Current Year Growth Places us on track for $6 trillion dollars by the end of the year, for the first time. So far we have accumulated 5.470 trillion dollars in sales compared to 5.188 trillion dollars last November. This difference of 282 billion dollars mean that we should hit 6.03 trillion dollars by the end of the year. The CY growth rate, NSA, is 5.43% and 5.19% SA.

September and October Revisions mostly offset each other. September was revised down by 1.483 billion and October was revised up by $1.255 billion.

The data was remarkable. It could have come in as low as $499 billion in total sales or as high as $530 billion. We hit $524 billion. Growth remains over 5%. We are on track for $6 Trillion end of the year sales for the first time ever. Last month the RY data was $6.007 trillion. This month it was 6.032 trillion.  Cash Registers are ringing.

It's the Economy.

 Reclaiming Common Sense