Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011 Retail Sales

Retail sales for December were reported this morning mostly flat m/m which means that overall retail sales were up 6.5% y/y for 2011.

In nominal terms, it was a pretty good year for retail sales, which hit a new all time high at $4.69T.  It was the 8th largest increase in 18 years since 1993--not bad for a year in which the S&P 500 was flat.  There is quite a difference between nominal and real retail sales though.  Even though Americans are spending more dollars, those dollars are buying them fewer goods.  Real retail sales have still, 4 years later, not reached pre-recession highs.

*Millions of Dollars; Inflation adjustment to December 2011 is estimated

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