Retail Sales Cool Off Further in July - Forex News by FX Leaders
Sales are still strong in the US, with core at 1.9%

Retail Sales Cool Off Further in July

Posted Friday, August 14, 2020 by
Skerdian Meta • 2 min read

Retail sales took a plunge in March by 8.7% for headline sales and by 4.5% for core sales. The decline got much bigger in April, as they did in Europe as well, due to the lock-downs, with core sales posting a 17.2% plunge and headline sales declining by 16.4%. Although, they reversed in May, posting a very strong increase, which cooled off in June, but still remained pretty strong. Today’s report is showing another cool-off, but for such times, the increase is considerable nonetheless:

July 2020 US Retail Sales Report

  • July advance retail sales +1.2% vs +2.1% expected
  • Prior was +7.5% (revised to +8.4%)
  • Ex autos and gas +1.5% vs +1.0% expected
  • Prior ex autos and gas +6.7% (revised to +7.7%)
  • Ex autos 1.9% vs +1.3% expected
  • Control group +1.4% vs +0.8% expected
  • Prior control group +5.6% (revised to +6.0%)
  • Sales +2.7% y/y % vs +1.1% prior
  • May-July sales down 0.2% from the same period a year ago

The details of this report are much stronger than the headline and the revisions were significant.

Looking at the overall picture, there are still larger dislocations in retail sales and a huge dislocation in ‘non-store retailers’ which are online shopping.
retail sales chart
Some analysis from BMO:

That said, headline aggregate retail sales are now 1.2% higher than the January peak — while the control group is 7.3% higher over the same time window. 9 of 13 categories rose in July, versus 11 in June and all 13 in May; the two biggest contributions to sales were eating and drinking (+0.49%) and gasoline stations (+0.41%). Overall, evidence that consumption remains in reasonable shape given the lockdown realities of the pandemic.

  • Prior was +7.5% (revised to +8.4%)
  • Ex autos and gas +1.5% vs +1.0% expected
  • Prior ex autos and gas +6.7% (revised to +7.7%)
  • Ex autos 1.9% vs +1.3% expected
  • Control group +1.4% vs +0.8% expected
  • Prior control group +5.6% (revised to +6.0%)
  • Sales +2.7% y/y % vs +1.1% prior
  • May-July sales down 0.2% from the same period a year ago

The details of this report are much stronger than the headline and the revisions were significant.

Looking at the overall picture, there are still larger dislocations in retail sales and a huge dislocation in ‘non-store retailers’ which are online shopping.
retail sales chart
Some analysis from BMO:

That said, headline aggregate retail sales are now 1.2% higher than the January peak — while the control group is 7.3% higher over the same time window. 9 of 13 categories rose in July, versus 11 in June and all 13 in May; the two biggest contributions to sales were eating and drinking (+0.49%) and gasoline stations (+0.41%). Overall, evidence that consumption remains in reasonable shape given the lockdown realities of the pandemic.

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About the author

Skerdian Meta // Lead Analyst
Skerdian Meta Lead Analyst. Skerdian is a professional Forex trader and a market analyst. He has been actively engaged in market analysis for the past 11 years. Before becoming our head analyst, Skerdian served as a trader and market analyst in Saxo Bank's local branch, Aksioner. Skerdian specialized in experimenting with developing models and hands-on trading. Skerdian has a masters degree in finance and investment.
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