To the surprise of only economists, Retail Sales plummeted in December 2008, falling for the 6th consecutive month. Sales dropped 2.7% on the month, and nearly 10% from the same period last year. If you didn’t know any better, you might think there was a recession or something going on (Its a mystery!).
November sales were also revised lower. Ex-Autos, sales fell 3.1% for the month. Health and personal care were the sole growth areas. Going ex-autos and ex-gasoline, sales fell 1.5%.
Here are the specific details:
• December 2008 Sales = $343.2 billion
• December 2008 Sales down 2.7% from November and down 9.8% percent versus December 2007
• 2008 total sales (12 months of calendar year) were essentially flat — down 0.1% percent from 2007, less than the margin of error (±0.4%).
• Total sales for the October through December 2008 holiday shopping period were down 7.7% from the same period a year ago.• Retail trade sales were down 2.7 percent (±0.5%) from November 2008 and were 10.8 percent (±0.7%) below last year.
• Gasoline stations sales were down 35.5% from December 2007, and off 15.9%;
• Auto sales were down 22.4% from last year.
• Sales were down 1.8% at furniture retailers; 2.5% at clothing stores; 1.0% at electronic stores; 2.2% at eating and drinking establishments; 0.4% at sporting goods, hobby and book stores; 1.3% at general merchandise stores; 1.4% at food and beverage stores; 2.9% at building material and garden supplies dealers; and 1.9% at mail order and Internet retailers.
Previously: Spinning Black Friday Retail Sales (December 1st, 2008) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/spinning-black-friday-retail-sales/
December Retail Sales Ho Ho Hum (January 8th, 2009) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/december-retail-sales-ho-ho-hum/
Sources: ADVANCE MONTHLY SALES FOR RETAIL TRADE AND FOOD SERVICES Census, December 2008 http://www.census.gov/marts/www/marts_current.html
Full Publication in PDF http://www.census.gov/marts/www/marts_current.pdf
Originally published at The Big Picture blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.>