Headline Retail Sales Improve In June 2019

Retail sales improved according to US Census headline data. The three-month rolling average improved.

Analyst Opinion of Retail Sales

There was a downward adjustment of last month's data. Although the unadjusted data declined this month, the real test of strength is the rolling averages which marginally improved. This month's data underwent the annual revision.

Please consider that this data is not adjusted for inflation. There is no growth in employment in this sector.


Backward data revisions were upward.

Econintersect Analysis:

  • the unadjusted sales rate of growth decelerated 1.4 % month-over-month, and up 1.8 % year-over-year.
  • unadjusted sales 3-month rolling year-over-year average growth accelerated 0.1 % month-over-month, up 3.6 % year-over-year.


  • unadjusted sales (but inflation-adjusted) up 1.1 % year-over-year
  • this is an advance report. Please see caveats section below which shows variations between the advance report and the "final".
  • in the seasonally adjusted data - the weaknesses were gas stations and department stores. Generally, everything else was strong.

U.S. Census Headline Analysis:

  • seasonally adjusted sales up 0.4 % month-over-month, up 3.4 % year-over-year (published up 3.0 % YoY last month).
  • the market was expecting (from Econoday):
seasonally adjusted Consensus Range Consensus Actual
Retail Sales - M/M change -0.2 % to 0.4 % +0.1 % +0.4 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change -0.2 % to 0.5 % +0.3 % +0.4 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change 0.0 % to 0.5 % +0.4 % +0.7 %
Control Group - M/M change 0.2 % to 0.4 % +0.4 % +0.7 %

Year-over-Year Change - Unadjusted Retail Sales (blue line) and Inflation-Adjusted Retail Sales (red line)


Retail sales per capita growth trend is mixed depending on periods selected - see graph below.

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