With the release of overall business sales data for December 2011 – manufacturing + wholesale + retail, it can be concluded that December was a pretty good month.
Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for December, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,148.0 billion, up 1.1 percent (±0.2%) from November 2010 and up 8.7 percent (±0.6%) from December 2009.
Inventories. Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,435.4 billion, up 0.8 percent (±0.1%) from November 2010 and up 8.0 percent (±0.4%) from December 2009.
Inventories/Sales Ratio. The total business inventories/ sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of December was 1.25. The December 2009 ratio was 1.26.
Econintersect believes manufacturing could have been up over 1% (analysis here). Wholesale trade was in record territory (analysis here). And retail sales for December hit an all time record (analysis here) – while January retail sales hit inflation assisted highs also (analysis here).
The improvements YoY will become progressively harder as 2011 progresses. Further, we may go back to the good ‘ole days and start subtracting inflation from the YoY numbers if the price of crude and commodities continues their rise.