The Commerce Department has released a much anticipated January Retail Sales Report which shows total cumulative spending growth of .02% over prior month, and 2.3% growth year-over-year. Importantly, a sector review (year over year), comparing January ’19 with Jan ’18, highlights where we are against our anticipated state of the economy:
Gas prices are low which are reflected in lower overall sales data (-4.2% year-on-year) within the gasoline station sector. Additionally, electronic and appliance store sales (-3.3%) reflects American consumers holding on to currently owned durable goods in that sector and not replacing. Both of these sectors were defined within the larger MAGAnomic forecast.
On the strong upside, building materials and home improvement reflect large growth of +8.7% year-over-year and +3.3% over prior month. Again, when considering how the principles of MAGAnomic policy focuses on ‘blue-collar’ economic improvement, these outcomes are exactly what you would expect to see.
How do these results reflect amid your family and social circle; do you see the same?
The Auto sector took a major drop in January with a decrease of 2.4% over December 2018, and a moderate +.02 percent when compared year-over-year to January 2018. The auto sales sector looks tenuous, not many people buying new cars. Again, are these results in alignment with your family and friends?
The sectors that most benefit from disposable income, sales at restaurants and bars advanced 0.7 percent for the month and 5.7% for the year-over-year. Also, purchases at hobby, musical instrument and book stores jumping 4.8 percent for the month, the largest increase since January 2013. Sales at food and beverage stores gained 3.2 percent year over year, the biggest gain since April 2016.
It would appear consumers are being selective with making large durable goods; extending the life-cycle of the most expensive purchases, including electronics; but also enjoying the benefits of higher wages with expenditures by dining out and enjoying entertainment.
Knowing MAGAnomic policy is focused on the middle-class, these retail sales outcomes would seem to make sense.
Does this overall big picture align with purchases and lifestyle choices amid your family, friends, co-workers and social network?