Monday, January 15, 2007

National Retail Federation Says Holiday Sales Were "Subdued"

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail industry sales for December (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 3.9 percent unadjusted over last year and increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November. November industry sales were revised down from 6.3 percent unadjusted to 5.1 percent unadjusted.

December retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) rose 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted from November and increased 3.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Unseasonably warmer weather and the slower housing market had a clear impact on consumer spending,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “NRF expects these subdued gains to continue into the first half of 2007.”

Last month was the second month in a row where I took issue with the official government number. This type of news release leads to me to believe the new official Census sample is a bit off and will again be lowered with the next consumer numbers.