Retail sales declined in January in the US

US Retail Sales Turned Negative in January, Even Before Coronavirus Spread to the US

Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by
Skerdian Meta • 1 min read

The retail sales report form the US for January was released a while ago. Sales have been positive since September last year, growing at a steady pace by 0.3% on average. Not much but now that coronavirus is killing major economies, that growth seems great.

In January though, sales turned negative in the US, falling by 0.5%, while core retail sales declined by 0.4%. Although, the revision for December in headline sales was quite positive, taking December to 0.6%. But, that’s the past, the present and the future look bleak.

US January Retail Sales Report

  • US February retail sales -0.5% vs +0.2% expected
  • January was +0.3% (revised to +0.6%)
  • Core sales ex. autos -0.4% vs +0.1% expected
  • Ex autos and gas -0.2% vs +0.3% expected
  • Prior ex autos and gas +0.7% (revised to +0.4%)
  • Gasoline sales -2.8% vs -0.4% prior
  • Control group 0.0% vs +0.4% expected
  • Prior control group 0.0% (revised to +0.4%)

US February Industrial Production Sales Report

  • US February industrial production +0.6% vs +0.4% expected
  • January was -0.3%
  • Manufacturing production +0.1% vs +0.2%
  • Capacity utilization 77.0% vs 77.1% expected
  • Prior was 76.8%

We might see a jump in retail sales for February or March, as people rushed to buy groceries and household consumption stuff, like toilet paper, as I heard there was a shortage of it for some time in the US. Yes, we should be clean, but toilet paper doesn’t cure or prevent coronavirus.  Industrial production on the other hand, jumped 0.6% higher in February. But, as I say, these numbers show the life before coronavirus, now life is different.

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