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Same Store Retail Sales Show Slight Gain in October

Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi’s retail sales index for same store sales rose 1.3% MoM in October 2010.  Their headline comments in part:

Same-store sales in October were very disappointing, rising just +1.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, based on BTMU’s tally of over 30 chain-store retailers representing more than $30 billion in total sales. October 2010 same-store sales were put to the test because it represents the first month with a more difficult annual comparison and it utterly failed. That being said, much of the failure was tied to weather and not weaker consumer fundamentals.

………Sales momentum improved later in the month [October], which bodes well for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Also helping the holiday shopping season this year will be an extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2009 there were 28 days to shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas; we will get 29 shopping days this year. On October 15th, BTMU (NY) released its estimate for Holiday 2010 sales. We expect holiday retail sales to rise by +2.6 percent this year following a +1.6 percent increase in 2009, and 2008’s record decline of -3.0 percent.

Monthly same store sales do not include retail giant Walmart who now reports only quarterly making same store sales statistics less accurate.  The reason for the downbeat lead in BTMU’s press release is due to a relatively small YoY growth – now at nearly the population growth rate.  This is indicative of little economic growth.

Econintersect prefers to look at the unadjusted data which appears to have reasonable YoY growth over the last two years.  As a big recession tends to distort seasonal adjustment factors, it is difficult to assign any exact YoY growth number.

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