Editor's note: This is a complimentary research excerpt written by Hedgeye U.S. macro analyst Christian Drake. For more information on how you can subscribe to the fastest-growing independent financial research firm in America click here.
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Bottom Line: It was an “okay” report for January with the Headline less flattering than the under the hood.
- Headline sliding a big -0.8% while holding flat on a year-over-year basis.
- Gas Stations: Sales at gas stations (which reflects the gasoline price drop) are obviously everyone’s key focus item and the biggest driver in the headline change – Nominal dollar sales at gas stations were down -9.3% month-over-month and -23.5% year-over-year.
- Sales ex-Autos & Gas were up +0.2% month-over-month and accelerated to +5.7% year-over-year from +4.7% in December
- Control Group: Retail Sales control Group (which feeds the GDP calculation) were +0.1% month-over-month and accelerated to +4.3% year-over-year from +3.3% last month
- Industry: Positive on balance - Sales growth was positive in 8 of 13 industries on a month-over-month basis. On a year-over-year basis 8 of 13 industries saw sales growth accelerate relative to December
*Remember – advance retail sales are notably volatile and subject to big revision. They are also reported in nominal dollars, so price vs. volume effects have to be inferred.