US Retail Sales Tumble In November As California 'Anti-Inflation' Stimmies End

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Dec 15, 2022 - 01:40 PM

US Retail sales notably disappointed in November, just as BofA expected...

Against expectations of a 0.2% MoM drop, US retail sales tumbled 0.6% MoM - the weakest since last December...

Source: Bloomberg

On a YoY basis, this is the weakest since Dec 2020.

Core retail sales dropped 0.2% MoM (notably worse than the +0.2% MoM expected).

Finally, the control group - which flows through to GDP -saw retail sales decline 0.2% MoM (against expectations of a 0.1% rise).

Nine of 13 retail categories fell last month, according to the report, including electronics, furniture and building materials stores. Vehicle sales also declined, due in part to a drop in the prices of used cars and trucks. The value of sales at gasoline stations were down 0.1% as pump prices fell.

Sales at restaurants and bars - the only service-sector category in the report - rose 0.9% in November, the fourth-straight increase.

What's behind the retail sales miss?

The unwind of California's one-time "anti-inflation" stimmy check

Credit card spending in October was boosted by the additional round of Prime Day and related promotions, as well as one-off stimulus payments in California (CA).

The disproportionate weakness in total online retail spending and total card spending in CA suggests that there was negative payback in November for the October distortions.