Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Census bureau’

Retail Sales Rise .4% from July – How Far to Pre-recession Levels? Where to from Here?

Retail Sales Rise .4% from July – How Far to Pre-recession Levels? Where to from Here?

Courtesy of Mish 

Inquiring minds are investigating the Advance Monthly Retail Sales Report for August 2010, noting the discrepancy between what is reported and reality.

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 $363.7 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent from the previous month, and 3.6 percent above August 2009.

Total sales for the June through August 2010 period were up 4.7 percent from the same period a year ago. The June to July 2010 percent change was revised from +0.4 percent to +0.3 percent .

Retail trade sales were up 0.5 percent from July 2010, and 3.7 percent above last year. Nonstore retailers sales were up 10.5 percent from August 2009 and gasoline stations sales were up 9.6 percent from last year.

As typical, Calculated Risk has some nice charts of the data.

Calculated Risk writes "This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline). Retail sales are up 8.4% from the bottom, but still off 4.3% from the pre-recession peak."

Although that is what the data says, I don’t buy it. If retail sales were back to within 4.3% of the pre-recession peak, sales tax collections would be back towards the pre-recession peak, if not exceeding the pre-recession peak.

Why might they exceed the peak? Because of numerous state sales tax hikes.

The Slow Rebound – Very Slow

September 02, 2010: State Tax Revenues Slowly Rebound, But … 

The Nelson Rockefeller Institute reports State Tax Revenues Are Slowly Rebounding. However, as always, the devil is in the details. Let’s take a look.

Preliminary tax collection data for the April-June quarter of 2010 show improvement in overall state tax collections as well as for personal income tax and sales tax revenue. However, revenue collections remain significantly below peak levels and are still weak in a number of states.

The Rockefeller Institute’s compilation of data from 47 early reporting states shows collections from major tax sources increased by 2.2 percent in nominal terms compared to the second quarter of 2009, but was 17.2 percent below the same period two years ago.

State Tax Collections


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Wholesale Inventories: Marijuana Plants

Wholesale Inventories: Marijuana Plants 

smoking pot, marijuana inventories upCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

The green shoots are in fact marijuana plants and the media has been smoking them.

Month/over/month inventories down 1.7%, annual y/o/y down 10.8%.

Durables down 1.5%, annual down 10.4%.

I am especially interested in the internals of this report, particularly, paper goods as these are a good indicator of packaging demand, along with metals (industrial demand.)

Those numbers are just plain nasty: Paper was down 2.7% m/o/m while metals were down 6.2% m/o/m.

The sales numbers weren’t any better:

Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that June 2009 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $313.1 billion, up 0.4 percent (+/-0.7%)* from the revised May level, but were down 21.0 percent (+/-1.4%) from the June 2008 level.

Yowza.

Note the sampling error on the monthlies – we’re inside the uncertainty, which means that basically the number was flat.  But the annual change is just plain nasty, given that we were well into the recession (according to the NBER) last summer, and as such were well down the demand curve.

There’s nothing in this report to indicate that "the recession is easing."

*****

Source:  MONTHLY WHOLESALE TRADE: SALES AND INVENTORIES, JUNE 2009

 


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