Calculated Risk: Retail Sales Off Sharply in November: The Census Bureau reports that retail sales collapsed in October:
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $355.7 billion, a decrease of 1.8 percent from the previous month and 7.4 percent below November 2007. Total sales for the September through November 2008 period were down 4.5 percent from the same period a year ago. The September to October 2008 percent change was revised from -2.8 percent to -2.9 percent.
Retail trade sales were down 2.0 percent from October 2008 and were 8.5 percent below last year. Motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 25.2 percent from November 2007 and gasoline stations sales were down 22.0 percent from last year.