Forecaster Charts & Tables

Retail Sales

Retail is shifting from ‘bricks and mortar’ stores to warehouse construction in support of online platforms.

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U.S. Monthly Sales by General Merchandise Stores vs Non-Store Retailers (i.e., Internet Platforms & Auction Houses)

In March 2021, 'general merchandise store' sales of $68.1 billion were +4.6% year over year and +9.0% month to month. Nonstore retail sales of $93.1 billion were +28.7% y/y and +6.0% m/m.

Adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
Latest data points are for March, 2021.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Sales by U.S. Building Material & Supplies Dealers

The background numbers for this graph are a subset derived from a broader designation that includes garden equipment. Also, the reported data for sales by 'building material & supplies dealers' alone is always a month behind. Feb 2021 results were +13.7% y/y, but -5.6% m/m.

Data source: Census Bureau / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

U.S. Total Retail Sales & a Key Subset, Motor Vehicle Sales (Y/Y)

U.S. total retail sales in March, 2021 were +26.9% year over year and +9.4% month to month. 'Auto and parts' sales (as a subset of 'total retail') were +71.1% y/y and +15.1% m/m.

*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year.
Based on ‘current’ dollars. Latest data points are for March, 2021.
Adjustments have been made for seasonal variation, holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

U.S. Sales Year-over-Year (Y/Y), Total Retail vs Food Services & Drinking Places

While U.S. total retail sales (i.e., purchases of goods) have recovered nicely (+9.5% y/y), expenditures at bars and restaurants (a 'services' component of consumer spending) remain deeply depressed (-17.0% y/y).

*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year. Latest data points are for February, 2021.
Current dollars, with adjustments made for seasonal variation, holiday & trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Total Retail Sales in U.S. Monthly

Retail sales have made a V-shaped recovery and then some. They're making up for lost spending opportunities last Spring. Non-store retail sales (i.e., conducted over the Internet) are now 16.7% of the total.

Latest data point is March, 2021.
Adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) / Chart: ConstructConnect – CanaData.

U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales Y/Y

When the pandemic first struck, economists struggled with representing the big % declines in graph form. Now, there's a similar problem, but moving in the opposite direction, as y/y calculations have unusually low denominators.

Y/Y, as of March, 2021.
‘Current dollars’ means not adjusted for inflation. Underlying numbers are seasonally adjusted & not ‘smoothed’.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.