Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Retail Sales: Bifurcated Growth

Marketwatch details:

Retail sales showed decent growth in August, economic data showed Tuesday, easing fears that the U.S. economy would stall out in coming months.

Retail sales rose 0.4% on the month, the Commerce Department said. It marked the second straight increase and was the largest gain since March.
Good news... BUT, the breakdown is interesting.

The largest jumps were in gas and food purchases (due to a jump in gas prices and food in August), then some solid growth in small purchases (clothing, sporting goods, health care), followed by a a decline in credit related purchases (furniture, autos, and electronics).

One month is likely just noise, but it will be interesting to see if large credit oriented purchases, in a credit tightening environment, are on the decline to pay for smaller purchases.

Source: Census