The most recent data for retail sales is out and it should act as a small preview for the same-store sales data that will come out on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning of this week. The Redbook retail sales data showed that national chain store sales were down by 1.4% during the first four-weeks of July. Dow Jones had a target of -1.2% for the period. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the report was up 1.6% from a year ago, versus a Dow Jones targeted gain of 1.8%.
On a week-over-year basis, sales were up 1.1% for the year, although we would caution that this data is not measured in quite the same way as traditional retail data.
Bloomberg calls the Redbook sales data a weekly measure of sales at chain stores, discounters and department stores that is a less consistent indicator of retail sales than the weekly ICSC index. Specifically, it says:
It is also calculated differently than other indicators. For instance, figures for the first week of the month are compared with the average for the entire previous month. When two weeks are available, then these are compared with the average for the previous month, and so on. It might be more useful to compare year-over-year figures since these are indeed compared to the comparable week a year ago. This index is correlated with the general merchandise portion of retail sales covering only about 10 percent of total retail sales.
JON C. OGG