Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in January, slightly below expectations of a 0.5 percent gain. The modest increase in January follows a slight downward revision to December’s increase—from 0.6 percent to 0.5 percent. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales are up 7.8 percent. Across broad categories, sales were mixed, with the largest gains coming from gas stations (up 1.4 percent), food and beverage stores (up 1.3 percent), and nonstore retailers (up 1.2 percent). On the downside, building material and supply store sales slipped down 2.9 percent during the month, more than reversing a 1.8 percent gain in December. Also, sporting goods, hobby, book, and music store sales decreased 1.3 percent during the month, though the series is still up 3.0 percent on the year. A somewhat cleaner measure of the trend in retail sales—sales excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations—rose 0.4 percent in January, though revisions knocked December’s 0.2 percent gain down to −0.1 percent. Over the past three months, this “core” measure of retail sales is trending at an annualized rate of 4.1 percent, a shade below its 12-month growth rate of 5.1 percent.