Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Retail Sales Drop More bad new for GDP

Retail sales account for two thirds of GDP. Unemployment, falling home values, and massive drops in personal net worth are clearly effecting consumer buying ability and attitudes. This should not come as a big surprise, but it did. The recent news on credit card defaults is also another dark cloud looming on the horizon.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $337.7 billion, a decrease of 0.4 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month and 10.1 percent (±0.7%) below April 2008. Total sales for the February through April 2009 period were down 9.2 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The February to March 2009 percent change was revised from -1.2 percent (±0.5%) to -1.3 percent (±0.3%).

Retail trade sales were down 0.4 percent (±0.7%)* from March 2009 and 11.4 percent (±0.7%) below last year. Gasoline stations sales were down 36.4 percent (±1.5%) from April 2008 and motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 20.7 percent (±2.3%) from last year.

Source Census Bureau
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