US December advance retail sales +0.3% vs +0.3% expected

Author: Adam Button | Category: News

Retail sales data for December 2019:

retail sales Dec 2019 chart
  • Prior was +0.2% (revised to +0.3%)
Details:
  • Sales +0.334% unrounded
  • Control group +0.5% vs +0.4% expected
  • Prior control group +0.1% (revised to -0.1%)
  • Ex autos and gas +0.5% vs +0.4% expected
  • Prior ex auto and gas +0.0% (revised to -0.2%)
  • Ex autos +0.7% vs +0.5% expected
  • Prior ex autos +0.1%
  • Sales up 5.8% y/y
  • 2019 total sales up 3.6% from 2018
  • Auto sales -1.3% m/m
  • Full report
The prior revisions to the control group sap the gains from the small beat on the measure this month. However on the overall headline the number was stronger than expected with a positive revision and that has helped to boost the US dollar.

Digging deeper, the year-over-year rises in electronics, appliances and clothing and were flat year over year with much of the gains compared to a year ago coming at 'food and beverage' stores,  'health and personal care' and gasoline stations. To me this looks more like a story of inflation than consumer growth.

The trend towards online shopping isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The 'nonstore retailers' category rose 19.2% compared to December 2018.
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