Underneath the Hood of January's Retail Sales Report

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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Underneath the Hood of January's Retail Sales Report - g1


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  


*Rememberadvance 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.  


Underneath the Hood of January's Retail Sales Report - Retail Sales Summary Table

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