Holiday Sales Come In Below Forecasts



Household retail spending came in below expectations for the November-December holiday period, based on the latest U.S. retail numbers.

Online and homegoods specialty stores were among the exceptions reporting healthy growth.

Spending generally remained strongest outside of traditional retail stores—especially at restaurants and auto dealers. See the table summary.

  • Sales growth for the holidays generally came in between 3.0% and 3.5%, depending on the seasonally adjusted or unadjusted measure excluding all fuel sales.
  • The seasonally adjusted measure excluding autos, food service, and gasoline stations was up 2.7% in December and 2.6% for the November-December period.
  • Holiday growth was better when estimated sales for fuel dealers also are excluded on a seasonally adjusted (+3.1%) and unadjusted (+3.3%) basis.

The MacroSavvy™ forecast (found here) was for 3.5% growth on an unadjusted basis excluding all fuel sales, which was slightly above the actual growth rate of 3.3% for the comparable measure.

Impact @Work: For the outlook on 2016, see the article here.

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