The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales were down slightly (-0.1%) at $194.3 billion in May. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). May sales were 1.9% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $473.8 billion in May (second graph), also down slightly (-0.3%) from prior month, but up 3.8% from prior year results. This was the smallest year-over-year percentage increase since last November. Total nominal sales were up 3.3% for the full year 2016.

The results were below consensus expectations. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 3.7% year-over-year. Nonstore retailer sales (e-commerce and mail order) were up 10.2%. Gasoline station sales were up 6.2% year-over-year, a reversal from most of 2016 when full-year sales were down 6.3%. Department stores sales fell by 3.7% year-over-year, while sporting goods, hobby and book store sales fell by 4.7%. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales were up slightly (+0.2%) at $194.5 billion in April. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). April sales were 2.2% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $474.9 billion in April (second graph), also up slightly (+0.4%) from prior month, and up 4.5% from prior year results. Total nominal sales were up 3.3% for the full year 2016.

The results were below consensus expectations but March was revised upward. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 0.4% year-over-year. Nonstore retailer sales (e-commerce and mail order) were up 11.9%. Gasoline station sales were up 12.3% year-over-year, a reversal from most of 2016 when full-year sales were down 6.3%. Department stores sales fell by 3.7% year-over-year, while sporting goods, hobby and book store sales fell by 2.4%. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales were steady (+0.07%) at $193.2 billion in March. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). March sales were 2.7% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $474.8 billion in March (second graph), also flat (-0.2%) with prior month, and up 5.2% from prior year results. Prior to January, year-over-year sales growth had not exceeded 5% since August 2014, but have now exceeded that level in three consecutive months. Total nominal sales were up 3.3% for the full year 2016.

The results were below consensus expectations and February was revised downward. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were down 0.2% year-over-year. Nonstore retailer sales (e-commerce and mail order) were up 11.9%. Gasoline station sales were up 14.3% year-over-year, a reversal from most of 2016 when full-year sales were down 6.3%. Department stores sales fell by 4.5% year-over-year, while sporting goods, hobby and book store sales fell by 3.8%. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales were steady -0.04% at $193.4 billion in February. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). February sales were 2.8% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $474.0 billion in February (second graph), also flat +0.08% with prior month, and up 5.7% from prior year results. Prior to January, year-over-year sales growth had not exceeded 5% since August 2014, but have now exceeded that level in consecutive months. Total nominal sales were up 3.3% for the full year 2016.

The results were at consensus expectations and January was revised upward; a solid month. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 4.5% year-over-year. Nonstore retailer sales (e-commerce and mail order) were up 13.0%. Gasoline station sales were up 19.6% year-over-year, a reversal from most of 2016 when full-year sales were down 6.3%. Department stores sales fell by 5.6% year-over-year, while electronics and appliance store sales fell by 6.0%. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales decreased 0.2% to $193.4 billion in January. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). January sales were 2.9% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $472.1 billion in January (second graph), up 0.4% from prior month, and up 5.6% from prior year results. Prior to January, year-over-year sales growth had not exceeded 5% since August 2014. Total nominal sales were up 3.3% for the full year 2016.

The results were above consensus expectations and December was revised upward, a strong month. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 4.7% year-over-year. Nonstore retailer sales (e-commerce and mail order) were up 12.0%. Gasoline station sales were up 14.2% year-over-year, a reversal from most of 2016 – full-year sales were down 6.3%. Even department stores saw gains in January with sales up 1.2% year-over-year, while electronics and appliances store sales were up 1.6%. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales decreased 0.1% to $192.1 billion in November. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). November sales were 2.0% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $465.5 billion in November (second graph), up 0.1% from prior month, and up 3.8% from prior year results. Total nominal sales are up 3.1% year-to-date.

The results were below consensus expectations and October was revised downward. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 3.8% year-over-year. Nonstore retailer sales (e-commerce and mail order) were up 11.9% and food services were up 4.9%. Gasoline station sales were up 4.0% year-over-year, a reversal from most of 2016 with YTD sales down 7.3%. Department stores sales fell 6.4% year-over-year, while electronics and appliances store sales were down 3.8%, clearly reflecting e-commerce gains. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales increased 0.3% to $190.8 billion in September. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). September sales were 1.2% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $459.8 billion in September (second graph), up 0.6% from prior month, and up 2.7% from prior year results. Total nominal sales are up 2.9% year-to-date.

The results were at consensus expectations and the prior two months were revised upward. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 3.3% year-over-year. Nonstore retailers (e-commerce and mail order) were up 10.6% and food services were up 6.1%. Gasoline station sales were down 3.4% year-over-year. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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Seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales increased to $190.5 billion in June. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). June sales were 1.6% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $457.0 billion in June (second graph), up 0.6% from prior month, and up 2.7% from prior year results.

The results were above consensus expectations (0.1% increase), but April and May were revised down. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 3.9% year-over-year. Gasoline station sales were down 9.6% year-over-year. Total nominal sales are up 3.1% year-to-date. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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Seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales increased to $189.8 billion in April. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). April sales were 1.8% higher than the prior-year period.

Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $453.4 billion in April (second graph), up 1.3% from prior month, and up 3.0% from prior year results. The year-over-year percentage growth results were the second strongest in the last 12 months.

The results were above consensus expectations. Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 4.1% year-over-year. We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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Seasonally adjusted real retail and food service sales fell to $187.8 billion in March. (Note that actual sales are deflated using CPI 1982 – 1984 = 100). March sales were 0.9% higher than the prior-year period. Nominal (unadjusted for inflation) seasonally-adjusted retail sales totaled $446.9 billion in March (second graph), down 0.3% from prior month, and up 1.7% from prior year results. The year-over-year percentage growth results were weaker than in any of the previous 3 months for nominal sales.

The results were below consensus expectations. For the trailing three-month period, nominal sales were up 2.8% year-over-year.   Nominal retail and food services sales excluding gasoline were up 3.3% year-over-year. Gasoline station sales were down 15.6% year-over-year.  We focus primarily on real retail sales because they are a better indicator of freight volumes than the inflated figures.

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