Retail Sales Rose in September

Retail Sales in September 2010 rose month-over-month (MoM) and year-over-year (YoY) looking at the advance unadjusted data.  The headlines from the US Census press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $367.7 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, and 7.3 percent (±0.7%) above September 2009. Total sales for the July through September 2010 period were up 5.7 percent (±0.3%) from the same period a year ago. The July to August 2010 percent change was revised from +0.4 percent (±0.5%)* to +0.7 percent (±0.3%).

Retail trade sales were up 0.7 percent (±0.5%) from August 2010, and 7.7 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Auto and other motor vehicle dealers sales were up 19.0 percent (±2.6%) from September 2009 and nonstore retailers sales were up 14.4 percent (±3.1%) from last year. 

Click on graphs for larger images.

Looking the unadjusted data which must be analyzed first YoY, then MoM – it confirms the Census view that September 2010 has indeed improved.

This is advance data which “a stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,000 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms.”  These advance results seem consistent with other retail sales numbers released through industry sources.

The report is NOT consistent with a zero / low growth scenario.  Consumers are the major driver for the economy, and this report shows a fairly strong growth.