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Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rise, But From Negative Revisions, Mostly Flat Since March

Retail sales rose 0.6% vs economists expectations of a 0.4% decline but most of that rise stems from a negative revision in May.
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Advance Retail Sales Detail 2021-06

The Commerce Department's Advance Retail Sales Report for June shows retail sales rose 0.6% to $621.3 billion but from a downwardly revised May reading of $617,9 Million. 

The three big spending jumps (May-June 2020, January 2021, and March 2021) are in response to three major stimulus programs.

Retail Sales vs Consensus 

Retail Sales Econoday Consensus vs Actual 2021-06

As reported last month sales declined 1.3% in May, now reported as a 1.7% decline. Nonetheless it was a pretty big miss by economists, especially ex-vehicles.

Yet, add it all up and the lead chart shows retail sales have been mostly flat (-0.28%) since March. 

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Advance Retail Sales Major Categories 

Advance Retail Sales Major Categories 2021-06A

The chart shows that if you give away free money, people will spend it, especially when you suspend evictions and have various payment moratoriums.

Advance Retail Sales Major Categories Detail 

Advance Retail Sales Major Categories 2021-06

Spending has rebounded everywhere from pre-pandemic levels but the big beneficiaries have been motor vehicles and parts, and nonstore retailers (think Amazon).

Mish