Chain Store Sales (week ended 4/6/2013)
Store Sales Week/Week +0.7%. Previous was +4.7% Store Sales Year/Year +2.1%. Previous was +1.9%.
– Store Sales Year/Year +2.5%. Previous was +3.5%.
It would be easier to draw conclusions if the year/year in these 2 reports were moving in the same direction. The drop in the week/week gain in ICSC had to due with the fact that the previous week was the week before Easter. Because Easter was relatively early this year whatever shopping it generated happened in the 1stQ. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Northern spring equinox.
The Consumer Metrics Institute Index of online shopping has increased noticeably since the start of April.
Wholesale Trade (February 2013)
– Inventories Month/Month -0.3%. Previous was +1.2%.
Inventories is a component of GDP. This weak number will take a bite out of, at least, the first estimate of GDP. When 1stQ2013 GDP is reported on April 26 it will use a quarterly estimate for inventory growth based on the two months data it has.
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (March 2013)
– Index level 89.5. Previous was 90.8.
Of the ten Index components, two increased, two were unchanged and six declined. Of greatest concern is the decline of the number of businesses which planned to increase employment. Small business confidence is stalling.