Friday, March 9, 2007

More on Retail Sales

This is a graph from Investors Business Daily

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Note that sales are still growing, but they are coming in below where analysts thought they were.

Here's the salient points from IBD:

February's soft showing came in the wake of solid January sales gains, lifted by a late month cold snap. As a result, retailers entered February with much of their winter goods cleared — and well stocked for spring.

But when the cold hit, shoppers didn't want spring apparel and couldn't find coats or sweaters.

"In February the last thing you wanted to buy was a spring outfit," Perkins said. "And if you were going to buy for now there wasn't much in the stores."

The month's adverse weather held down February same-store sales by at least half a percentage point, said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Because February typically has the year's second lowest sales volume behind January, one shouldn't extrapolate too much from the month's results, he said.

Also, read The Big Pictures hilarious take on the recent news in retail sales.