November 2018 Headline Wholesale Sales Declined

The headlines say wholesale sales declined month-over-month with inventory levels remaining slightly elevated. Our analysis shows a deceleration of the rate of growth for the rolling averages.

Analyst Opinion of this month's Wholesale Sales

Overall, the rolling averages tell the real story - and they declined this month. This sector's growth is now trending down.

Inventory levels this month are at recessionary levels.

To add to the confusion, year-over-year employment changes and sales growth do not match.

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Note that Econintersect analysis is based on the change from one year ago. Econintersect Analysis:

  • unadjusted sales rate of growth decelerated 5.4 % month-over-month.
  • unadjusted sales year-over-year growth is up 3.9 % year-over-year (it was 9.3 % YoY last month)
  • unadjusted sales (but inflation adjusted) up 2.5 % year-over-year
  • the 3 month rolling average of unadjusted sales decelerated 1.6 % month-over-month, and up 6.1 % year-over-year.

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  • unadjusted inventories up 6.6 % year-over-year (decelerated 0.4 % month-over-month), unadjusted inventory-to-sales ratio is 1.30 which is at recessionary levels.

US Census Headlines based on seasonally adjusted data:

  • sales down 0.6 % month-over-month, up 4.0 % year-over-year (it was reported sales up 9.2 % last month YoY)
  • inventories up 0.3 % month-over-month - 6.5 % year-over-year,
  • inventory-to-sales ratios were 1.26 one year ago - and are now 1.29.
  • expectations for inventory growth from Econoday was consensus range of 0.2 % to 0.6 % (consensus 0.4 %).

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Wholesale sales were at record highs for almost two years - until 2015 where they contracted year-over-year - this contraction ended in 2017. Overall, the inventory-to-sales ratios is slowly returning to normal.

Seasonally Adjusted Inventory-to-Sales Ratio

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