More on: Retail Booming

With our earlier look at Inflation free CPI out of the way, let’s have a gander at Retail Sales. Did they really increase 1% in November? Bond Dad raises some further questions: 

start with the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubihi’s Chain Store Sales Report.
According to this survey, the seasonally adjusted month-to-month
percent change in same store sales was -1%. October’s number was
slightly better at a -.6% drop. The year-over-year percent change in
the number was 2.1%, which was the lowest reading of 2006 except for
March when the number was 2% . . .

The Census data says that "Building material & garden eq. &
supplies dealers" increased from (in millions) $29,289 to $29,817 The
BTM survey says home supply sales sales decreased 15.7%. It’s also
important to remember the housing market is in a slump right now. Sales
are down, inventory is up. Is this a real estate market where building materials and supplies sales will increase 1.8%?

According to the census data, car sales increased from (in millions)
$77,197 to $77,906. This data is not seasonally adjusted. However,
according to motor intelligence, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of
US car sales decreased from 16.16 million in October to 16.04 million
in November. This is the lowest seasonally adjusted annual rate for car sales this year.

In November WalMart reported their November sales decreased .1%, the
first drop since April 1996. Other retailers showed increases. However,
Wal-Mart is far bigger than their competitors.

So, while the Census data says retail sales increased at a high rate in November, all other surveys say sales of various retail sales components decreased.
There is an important difference in methodology in the other reports
because they are seasonally adjusted. However, using the old Sesame
Street game "One of these things is not like the other one" we come to
the conclusion the Census will probably lower their numbers for
November. (emphasis added)

That’s a very straight
forward explanation as to why the reported Retail Sales Data is bogus.
(And it doesn’t even make mention of the Commerce Department’s change
in their sample group we discussed previously).



Did Retail Sales Really Increase 1% in November?
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Saturday, December 16, 2006

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