July 14, 2017

Census Bureau Retail Sales Revisions Mostly Up in Recent Months; Year-Over-Year Comps Mostly Better Than 2016

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:12 am

With Census Bureau help, the press has been claiming that the retail sector is struggling more than it really is

I think we’re seeing the beginnings of a trend where retail sales get initially lowballed for negative publicity purposes than then get quietly revised up:

It’s not enough to sound alarms, but it bears watching.

Meanwhile, despite most recent months coming in initially negative, the year-over-year comparisons of 2017 to 2016 look significantly better than 2016 vs. 2015:


I don’t think you can rule out the idea that the data-crunchers at the Census Bureau might be toying with and lowballing initially reported results.

Crunch the numbers above for January through May 2017 vs. 2016 (excluding June, because I think the chances of yet another upward revision are high, and one finds that seasonally adjusted sales are up by 4.7 percent, and not seasonally adjusted sales are up by 4.0 percent. Those are reasonably strong numbers. The comparable percentages for calendar 2016 vs. calendar 2015 were 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.


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