Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services Published by: Bureau of the Census Frequency: Monthly Period Covered: Prior Month Market Significance: High Volatility: High
What is it? • First report of the month on consumer spending • It covers retail and food service (durable and nondurable goods) companies with one or more establishments that sell merchandise and associated services to final consumers. • Companies provide data on dollar value of sales, reporting period, and number of retail establishments. • The data is collected by a mail-out/mail-back survey of a sub-sample of companies and Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) selected from the monthly retail trade survey, Advanced Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services – MARTS. • Advance sales estimates are established by kind of business and by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.
What is in the report? • Estimated monthly sales for retail and food services. • Estimated change in monthly sales for retail and food services. • Estimated measures of sampling variability and revision to advance estimates.
In the report, by kind of business Retail and Food Services; Measured in volume sold • Motor vehicle & parts dealers • Furniture & home furniture stores • Electronics & appliance stores • Building material & garden equipment & supplier dealers • Food & beverage stores • Grocery stores • Health & personal care stores • Gasoline stations
Cont… • Miscellaneous store retailers • Nonstore retailers • Food services & drinking places • Clothing & clothing accessories stores • Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores • General merchandise stores • Department stores
Why is it important? • Key release from the consumer’s demand side. • First indicator of consumer activity. • Consumer spending makes up 70% of all economic activity and retail sales account for 1/3 of that. • Retail Sales are used to compute Personal Consumption Expenditures; an important factor of GDP. • Shifts in consumer spending show the moods of American Households.
Keys to Interpreting the Data • Advance Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services Survey (MARTS) is set to measure retail and food services activity at the national level and not at specific geographic areas. • Retail sales is measured only in nominal dollars, which means no adjustment is made for inflation. • Only shows goods found at department stores, auto dealers, gas stations, food services. Nothing on services; ie medical treatments, haircuts, legal fees, movies, air travel, etc.
More Keys…. • The advance reports are very volatile and can be misleading; the government revaluates the information periodically. See Graph • Dollar figures are gathered from receipts, subtracting merchandise returns and rebates, excluding sales tax, excise tax, and finance charges from department store credit cards. • Are seasonally adjusted (Christmas Example; Black Friday)
Latest Release March • Adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $371.6 billion, an increase of 0.7 percent (0.7%)* from the previous month and up 3.8 percent (±0.7%) from March 2006. Total sales for the January through March 2007 period were up 3.2 percent (0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The January 2007 to February 2007 percent change was revised from 0.1 percent (±0.7%)* to 0.5 percent (±0.2%). • *The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different than zero.
Data Analysis • Based on the information from this indicator we conclude: • Total Retail sales and Services have increased significantly from the same time last year (an increase of 3.8%) • Consumers continue to spend despite housing slump and energy prices • Clothing and clothing accessories are increasing • Sales of general merchandize stores are increased the highest and will cool off
Final Numbers Retail trade sales were up .6 percent from Feb 2007 and were 3.6 percent above last year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 8 percent from March 2006 and sales of general merchandise stores were up 5.8 percent from last year.