Self Directed Investor Inc
SDI: "Empowering investors with ideas and education"
Symbol Lookup »  

  • Other news: News from PR Newswire
| More

February US Retail Sales Strongest in Four Months

Fri, Mar 11, 10:32 AM ET, by

US retail sales rose at the fastest pace in four months during February, as improvements in the job market and consumers’ views on their personal finances have so far offset worries about inflation, and January storms probably pushed sales into February. Unfortunately, the gains were largely due to brisk auto sales that were the strongest in nearly 10 years and surging gas prices at the pump.

The Commerce Department reported this morning that Advance Estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services sales for February rose an adjusted 1.0% from the prior month to $387.1 Billion, below the 1.2% gain analysts were expecting, while sales increased 9.1% (unadjusted) compared to the year-ago period. This was the 8th straight monthly increase and 16th straight year-over-year gain after 15 consecutive months of declines, which was the longest such streak on record.

Total US Monthly Retail & Food Services Sales

Total sales excluding Autos were up 6.1% in February from the year-ago period, while total sales less Autos and Gas Stations showed a 5.1% year-on-year increase. Nominal sales have finally returned to peak levels – for the third straight month total adjusted sales reached record levels, but unadjusted sales were still just 0.5% higher than February 2008.

Total US Monthly Retail & Food Services Sales - 5YR

Gains were led by Auto & Parts Dealers (23.8% YoY / +2.3% MoM), which had their best month since October 2001, as well as Gas Stations (+13.7% YoY / +1.4% MoM), and Miscellaneous Store retailers (+10.5% YoY / +2.0% MoM). Meanwhile, Department Stores (-1.4% YoY / +1.0% MoM), Furniture & Home Furnishing Stores (-3.9% YoY / -0.8% MoM and Electronics & Appliance Stores (-1.7% YoY / +0.9% MoM) continue to be laggards.

While consumer confidence has improved markedly from the depths of the recession, those gains could prove to be fleeting. Based on recent results from recent surveys, gas and food price inflation worries have already started to eat into discretionary spending, and it looks like that will continue. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects the average U.S. household will spend about $700 more for gasoline in 2011 than it spent last year, bringing total motor fuel expenses up 28% to $3,235.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index had risen to a nearly three-year high last month, but fell back to a four-week low last week as surging gas prices offset improvements in consumers' outlook on their finances and the economy. In addition, the preliminary March reading for the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index plunged to 68.2 after reaching the highest level in three years (77.5) in late February.

“Rising gasoline prices extracted a toll," said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Those at the lower end of the income ladder and those in the middle are being squeezed by rising costs of fuel and food, which does not bode well for discretionary spending.”

Retailers for the most part reported strong 4th quarter earnings on the best holiday season in years. However, outlooks for the remainder of the year were cautious as companies are contending with their own rising input costs and have tough decisions to make whether to pass those costs onto consumers.

Click here for more detailed results of February retail sales by line of business.

SDI Glossary: "price" Definition
This Article's Word Cloud:   Autos   Consumer   Department   February   Stations   Stores   about   adsbygoogle   after   consumers   costs   discretionary   food   four   from   fuel   gains   have   improvements   inflation   into   last   levels   month   months   more   nearly   period   prices   recent   record   reported   retail   rose   sales   spending   straight   surging   that   their   those   total   unadjusted   well   were   which   while   will   year   years

| More

Did the Weak September Jobs Report Derail a 2015 Rate Hike?
Sat, Oct 3, 10:51 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

Probably. It wasn't just the weaker-than-expected gain of 142,000 payroll jobs in September that disappointed, ...

An Obvious Point About Fed Transparency: They Can't Signal What They Don't Know
Thu, Sep 17, 1:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

(I'm writing this before today's FOMC decision is announced, because my point has nothing to ...

Can Nudges Improve Government?
Wed, Sep 16, 3:32 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Behavioral "nudges" can increase college enrollment by low-income students, boost health insurance take up, encourage ...

A $15.00 Minimum Wage in New York State Would Be A Self-Inflicted Wound
Fri, Sep 11, 1:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Governor Cuomo's proposal for a $15.00 minimum wage in New York is bolder than most, ...

The Employment Report - Not Bad Enough To Derail Fed Action
Fri, Sep 4, 12:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Like Wagner's music, the August jobs report is better than it sounds. Not great, but ...

Todays Retail News Reel
Mon, Aug 17, 10:31 AM ET, by

Here is what we are paying attention to in today's news:Time To Get Into Dollar ...

The Yuan and the Dollar
Thu, Aug 13, 5:31 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

In March 2003, I was in China making the rounds of universities, government agencies, and ...

Reflections on the Greek Tragedy
Fri, Jul 17, 3:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

(This was written on July 8, 2015.) In the late 1980s, I spent about 16 ...

Everything You Should Know about Taxing Carbon
Thu, Jun 25, 10:42 AM ET, by Donald Marron

Climate change is hot. From the popes encyclical to the upcoming United Nations conference in ...

The Fed Should Act on July 29
Mon, Jun 15, 3:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

I agree with the consensus view that September 17 is the most likely date for ...

Trade Is Not About Counting Jobs; It's About Making Jobs Count
Fri, Jun 12, 12:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

I view the House vote today on trade-promotion authority, a necessary prelude to an important ...

Monetary Freedom
Fri, May 29, 12:31 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Okay, I confess. I usually drive under the speed limit to avoid getting stopped for ...

Return of the Cicadas
Tue, May 26, 9:42 AM ET, by Donald Marron

The worlds most fascinating insects live in the eastern United States. Periodical cicadas spend most ...

Our Weakening Economy Is Getting Harder To Ignor
Sat, May 16, 2:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

We had two decent GDP quarters in mid-2014, and that's about it. The 4th quarter ...

Productivity Is Down: Are U.S. Workers Slacking Off?
Mon, May 11, 12:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

U.S. labor productivity fell at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the ...

The FOMC's Cacophony
Sat, Apr 11, 12:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

When Buddy Holly was little, he insisted on getting on the stage with his uncle's ...

More on the Euro-Dollar Exchange Rate
Fri, Mar 13, 6:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Nineteen countries now use the Euro as their currency. Fifty states use the Dollar as ...

Dollar-Euro Parity? Let the Market Figure It Out
Wed, Mar 11, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

In recent years, in response to those who complained about our "weak" dollar and longed ...

Let 'Er Rip, Janet; Let's Get It Over With
Sat, Mar 7, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

"Let 'er rip, let it fly; Come on baby, say it, do you think I'm ...

Three Things You Should Know About Dynamic Scoring
Fri, Feb 27, 10:12 AM ET, by Donald Marron

The House recently changed the rules of budget scoring: The Congressional Budget Office and the ...

Current Monetary Policy: A Keynesian Distortion
Wed, Feb 18, 4:31 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

One amusing thing about watching financial TV these days is that no analyst wants to ...

Todays Retail News Reel
Wed, Feb 18, 9:21 AM ET, by

Here is what we are paying attention to in today's news:Time To Get Into Dollar ...

Tax Policy and Investment by Startups and Innovative Firms
Mon, Feb 9, 2:32 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Our tax system includes many provisions to boost business investment, particularlyby startups and innovative firms. ...

Inflation Targeting or Deflation Avoidance?
Sun, Feb 8, 4:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

. ...

A Strong Dollar Doesn't Attract Foreign Capital - Expectation of a Stronger Dollar Does
Wed, Feb 4, 7:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Whether the dollar is strong or weak matters for our exports and imports because their ...

Fourth Quarter GDP Reverts to the Weak New Norm
Sat, Jan 31, 4:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Real GDP increased at only a 2.6 percent annual rate from the third to the ...

Congratulations to Congress on the Pipeline
Thu, Jan 29, 5:19 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

. ...

Are All QE's the Same?
Mon, Jan 26, 12:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

. ...

Is a Strong Dollar a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?
Sat, Jan 24, 5:31 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

You are probably way ahead of me on this, but I'll say it anyway: It ...

Fri, Jan 16, 6:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

She promised us patience in 2015 No premature rush to tighten So, I’ll be patient ...

Rolexes Just Got More Expensive - Or, You Can't Keep A Good Currency Down
Thu, Jan 15, 8:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

The Swiss National Bank, Switzerland's Central Bank, surprised the world this morning by removing its ...

New Year's Eve in Terlingua (12/31/03)
Wed, Dec 31, 1:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Another year has come and gone, We're back to New Year's Eve. Getting ready for ...

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Whole Grain Bread
Thu, Dec 25, 5:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

We've come a long wayunfortunatelysince our founding fathers wrote our constitution and tried to sort ...

Five Percent Growth - Wow!
Tue, Dec 23, 6:14 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Usually when a pretty good GDP number is released, I check to see how much ...

Reserves Won't Save the Russian Ruble
Tue, Dec 16, 8:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

What I try to do in these posts is to comment on contemporary issues and ...

Currency Confusion
Fri, Dec 5, 8:11 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

Thursday's WSJ had a front page article titled "Dollar's Rise Causes Pain in Europe, Asia." ...

Productivity is Key for Good Economic Performance
Wed, Dec 3, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Third quarter productivity was revised to 2.3 percent growth in the third quarter, up from ...

Super Mario and the Euro
Sun, Nov 30, 1:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

There was a central banker named Mario Who promised to save the Euro. But he ...

No Matter Who Was in Charge, Just Blame the Fed
Fri, Nov 21, 2:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

When I was SVP in charge of the Richmond Fed's Baltimore branch and attended Maryland ...

Spin Alert: DOE Loans Are Losing Money, Not Making Profits
Mon, Nov 17, 11:42 AM ET, by Donald Marron

The Department of Energy snookered the media last week with a report that seems to ...

Perception versus Reality - the Median versus the Mean
Wed, Nov 5, 12:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

The post-election analysis on TV this morning included a brief discussion of the "disconnect" between ...

Good Bye QE
Wed, Oct 29, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

I retired from the Fed on November 4, 2004, which will be 10 years ago ...

A "Normal" Budget Isn’t Really Normal
Mon, Oct 20, 10:22 AM ET, by Donald Marron

Treasury closed the financial books on fiscal 2014 last week. As my colleague Howard Gleckman ...

The $300 Billion Question: How Should Congress Budget for Federal Lending Programs?
Mon, Sep 29, 12:52 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional ...

More Investment and Exports in Second Quarter GDP - Just What We Needed
Sat, Sep 27, 11:31 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

The writer, Gore Vidal, is reported to have said that he didn't have much to ...

Four Myths about Entrepreneurship
Wed, Sep 17, 4:42 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Spoiler: 20-somethings make headlines, but founders in their 30s and 40s are more important. (Disclosure: ...

The Timing Is About Right for King Dollar
Mon, Sep 15, 5:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Earlier in the recovery from the Great Recession, Larry Kudlow and most of his TV ...

"Ignore the Low Inflation and Strong Dollar. The Experiment Isn't Over Until Things Turn Bad."
Sat, Sep 13, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

One of my favorite newspaper clippings is an op ed piece in the WSJ by ...

Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?
Wed, Sep 10, 12:12 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and ...

Money Hoarding
Sun, Sep 7, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

A recent piece published by the St. Louis Fed concluded that inflation has been low ...

  More articles:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next »


February US Retail Sales Strongest in Four Months | Self Directed Investor | Copyright © 2008 - 2015, All Rights Reserved

Any ideas and opinions presented in Self Directed Investor content are for informational and educational purposes only, and do not reflect the opinions of BNK Invest, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or partners. In no way should any content contained herein be interpreted to represent trading or investment advice. None of the information contained herein constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. All site visitors agree that under no circumstances will BNK Invest, Inc,. its subsidiaries, partners, officers, employees, affiliates, or agents be held liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained. Read Full Disclaimer.

SDI is associated with: -- a subscription-based online social networking forum of serious individual investors. | -- videos appearing on SDI are produced by Market News Video. | -- stock quote content appearing on SDI is at least 20 minutes delayed and is powered by Ticker Technologies. | -- Edited by Scott V. Nystrom, PhD, Gold Stock Strategist provides analysis on gold mining companies.