Retail Sales Decelerate, Rise 0.1% As Expected; Control Group Disappoints

Tyler Durden's picture

Followng yesterday's disturbing debit and credit card spending report from Bank of America for February which showed broad based declines across most categories, and a collapse in Department Store sales, the whisper expectation for today's retail sales report was for a contraction.

Instead, perhaps courtesy of the traditional aggressive seasonal adjustments, the Census Bureau announced moments ago that retail sales printed largely in line, rising 0.1% in February, in line with consensus, but below last month's 0.4% growth. Similarly retail sales ex autos rose 0.2%, also on top of expectations, although the rate of increase slowed down from last month's 0.8%.

The only disappointment came in the retail sales "control group", which printed at 0.1%, missing expectations of a 0.2% increase.

Among the segments reporting a slowdown in retail sales were motor vehicles and parts dealers, which dropped 0.2%, as well as gasoline stations which declined 0.6% mostly as a result of a modest pullback in gasoline prices. Sporting goods and music stores, Department Stores and Food Service and drinking places all declined, by -0.4%, -1.1% and -0.1% respectively. However, the biggest drop came from electronics and appliance stores, where sales tumbled a whopping -2.8%

While hardly as dramatic, the ongoing deterioration in department store spending is a partial confirmation of primary card data revealed yesterday courtesy of Bank of America, as shown previously.

And, as usual, the silver lining in today's retail sales report was the increase in nonstore retailers, i.e. internet retail outlets like Amazon, which posted a 1.2% increase in January, and 13% Y/Y, as they continue to grab market share from traditional brick and mortar venues.

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Erek's picture

No shit! Who's got money to buy anything anyway? All the worthless junk offered to the consumer is crap that will only end up on the scrap-heap in 6 months.

Doña K's picture

Tyler, thanks for using the word decelerate as I suggested to a troll yesterday who was arguing otherwise (accelerating slower)

Okienomics's picture

It was refreshing to see the numbers presented with accurate language, although you can suck my door knob, Dona.  This particular "troll" has been asking ZH for more "truthiness" on this poing for years.

By the way, my point about "decelerate" having two meanings remains accurate, according to Webster.  Still, at least they didn't say "crashing," "collapsing," or "hitting the brakes."  

flicker life's picture
flicker life (not verified) Okienomics Mar 15, 2017 10:00 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Why buy stuff at a retail outlet when you can just use that money to buy more Facebook stock instead?

Hal n back's picture

Retail sales if believable, up an annualized 1.2%, CPI if believable, ( or use shadow stats 10%) up an annualized 2.7%.

silverer's picture

Oh, yes. And inflation is only 1.2% or whatever. What's the inflation in YOUR wallet?

John Law Lives's picture

"What's the inflation in YOUR wallet?" - silverer


Excellent question.

cowdiddly's picture

Decelerate? When did they hit the gas? Just before going off the cliff?

JRobby's picture

Your legs tend to involuntarily flinch when you shit yourself

redtie's picture

The 50% that don't pay in are N. rich right report in the toilet.

silverer's picture

It's amazing how retail sales and the economy is always rising according to the gov, yet we go out there and see entire shopping malls getting shut down and emptying out, ride down busy secondary roads and see every 10th building for sale or lease. Should you believe your lying eyes?

GTC's picture

Amazon is selling everything at 1% margin so nobody makes any money. It's a race to the bottom in pricing and on the way down, every mom/pop retail store gets shafted. It's only a matter of time before Amazon is the only retailer left. Hey, maybe they will finally make a profit then!!

Boycott Amazon

sparkplug's picture

Same thing happened with wal mart in the 90s. That's why most small towns are still gutted to this day.

scoutshonor's picture

I continue to hoard all my cash.  Not because I must but rather because I can.  I've gotten ridiculously muleheaded about not spending money.  It's a capricorn thing.