Latest US Retail Sales Figures Not So 'Gloomy': GlobalData
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, believes that the “gloomy” headlines that are being generated about the current state of US retail sales “paint a partial and misleading picture”. He said that the focus on month-on-month performances does not tell the full story.
“The unadjusted year-over-year figures provide a much more accurate view of performance," Saunders said. "On this basis, retail is doing well with total sales up by 5.2% - the highest rate of growth since January. Such an increase is aligned with the rise in consumer sentiment and the more robust numbers coming out of other areas of the economy.”
Saunders attributed higher gas prices as the main contributor to the overall yearly increase.
'A Healthy Increase'
In terms of pure retail spend, excluding foodservice, gasoline, and automotive sales, the sector saw “a healthy increase” of 5.3% on a year-on-year basis.
“This is the highest level of growth since November of last year, and well above the average growth rate of the year-to-date. Our consumer data shows that while shoppers are not in splurging mode, they are becoming more relaxed in their spending habits,” Saunders said.
However, he revealed that department stores posted negative growth, with sales down 3.1% on the prior year. This was mainly due to store closures, lower customer traffic, weaker conversion rates over the month, and higher discounting.
Saunders concluded, “While our forecast for 2017 remains solid, we maintain our view that growth will be patchy and not benefit all retailers. The pattern of winners and losers is set to continue.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.