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December 2018 US Retail Sales: Year-Over-Year Growth Slows to Just 1.0% as Most Sectors Experience a Sluggish December

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Coresight Research

Key Points

Coresight Research’s monthly reports keep you up to date on US and UK retail sales, US retail traffic and in-store metrics, selected US retailers’ same-store sales and key global consumer indicators. Click here to view our full collection of Monthly Reports.

Our monthly US Retail Sales Report reviews the latest sector data published by the US Census Bureau.

Highlights from our December US Retail Sales Report:

  • Total retail sales excluding fuel and automobiles increased just 1.0% in December, slowing dramatically from the 5.2% growth reported for November. This dragged down total holiday period sales growth (ex fuel and automobiles) to just 2.9% year over year, below many estimates — including our own. 
  • Total seasonally adjusted U.S. retail sales including automobiles and gasoline increased 2.1% on a year-over-year basis in December. This was slower than the 4.0% year-over-year growth we saw in November.
  • All major sectors saw slowing growth in December, with the exception of clothing stores and electronics and appliance retailers. Clothing stores proved particularly robust, with year-over-year growth nudging up to 4.7% in December, from 4.6% in November. Non-store retailers, which include high-growth Internet retailers, saw growth slow to 3.7% in December.

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