Another Disappointing Retail Sales Number at Quarter-End

78026699June turned out to not be a great month for retail sales. The Census Bureau reported that advance monthly sales for retail and food services rose by only 0.2% to $439.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. Bloomberg was calling for a gain of 0.6%.

If you back out auto sales, retail sales in June were up by 0.4%. That is slightly better than the headline data, but unfortunately it is also short of the 0.6% consensus estimate offered up by Bloomberg.

While the number looks small on a month-over-month report, the report did signal that the gain was 4.3% above June 2013 retail sales, with a plus or minus 0.9% range.

The Census Bureau said:

Total sales for the April through June 2014 period were up 4.5 percent (±0.7) from the same period a year ago. The April to May 2014 percent change was revised from +0.3 percent (±0.5) to +0.5 percent (±0.2). Retail trade sales were up 0.3 percent (±0.5) from May 2014, and 4.1 percent (±0.9) above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 8.1 percent (±2.3) from June 2013 and health and personal care stores were up 7.9 percent (±1.9) from last year.

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Keep in mind that consumer spending makes up close to 70% of the GDP report, and this puts the numbers lower for the second quarter. It is possible that this weak retail sales report is enough to marginally send GDP forecasts a tad lower for the second quarter. An infographic from the Census has been provided below.

Retail Sales June

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