US Retail Sales Tumble Most Since January, Signal Sustained Recessionary Environment

One year ago the abysmal retail sales data crushed the market's hope that the recovery from the 7th half of 2012 was imminent. It also unleashed the Treasury flash crash, where the 40 bps plunge in yields was according to Jamie Dimon was a 1 in 3 billion year occurence. It only ended when Bullard hinted at QE4.

Moments ago, in a stark deja vu to precisely one year ago, retail sales disappointed even more than in October 2014, when 27 out of 27 economists thought the control group would be positive. It came at -0.1%.

The details: Retail Sales (ex Autos) dropped 0.3% in September, the 2nd drop in a row, the biggest drop since January (at the heart of the weather-driven economic weakness).

This is the 7th miss in the last 10 months...


For the first time since February, the 'Control Group' Retail Sales dropped (down 0.1% vs +0.3% expectations) as sales dropped in 7 of 13 categories (but notably autos rose significantly but was offset by a collapse in gas station spending). Notably 27 out of 27 'experts' agreed that the control group sales data woul dnot be negative.. wrong!

Year-over-year data shows sustained stagnant growth in retail sales historically aligned with a recessionary environment.


The breakdown shows bvroad weakness.

And most notably, retail sales dropped in 7 of 13 major categories including:

  • Electronics and appliance stores -0.2%
  • Building Materials and Supplies -0.3%
  • Food and beverage -0.3%
  • Gasoline stations -3.2%
  • General merchandise stores -0.1%
  • Miscellaneous store retailers -1.3%
  • Online -0.2%

And most importantly, the control group saw its first monthly drop since the "harsh winter" crushed GDP in February.

Expect the Atlanta Fed to cut its Q3 GDP nowcast to below 1% following the latest batch of abysmal data.