The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $456.3 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, and 1.9 percent (±0.7%) above August 2015. Total sales for the June 2016 through August 2016 period were up 2.4 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The June 2016 to July 2016 percent change was revised from virtually unchanged (±0.5%)* to up 0.1 percent (±0.2%)*.
Expectations were for -0.1 percent overall and +0.3 perecent ex-auto.
So third-quarter retail sales through two months are down 0.2 percent — actually more, when looking at the reported numbers (August’s $456.321 billlion divided by June’s $457.409 billion is a 0.256 percent decline, which rounds to -0.3 percent).
We’re still waiting for the so-called rebound in consumer retail spending to appear. Here’s why it hasn’t, and probably won’t for quite a while:
There’s no money left after paying astorimically higher healthcare-related costs which have pushed onto middle-income Americans at an unprecedented level.
This is “Why Almost No One in the Real World Believes That Overall U.S. Living Standards Have Improved.”
UPDATE: Zero Hedge —
Having warned that retail sales could be weak (based on BofA’s credit card data), year-over-year growth in retail sales rose just 1.9% (its weakest since March’s plunge) and worryingly in historical recession territory. MoM data was disappointing across the entire spectrum