December saw increased retail expenses, but not as much as the projected by the National Retail Federation anticipated.
Here’s the trade group’s report:
Solid consumer spending in the month of December helped retailers finish the year with a healthy holiday shopping season, however economic uncertainties sent a cautious consumer to the stores. December retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from November and increased 2.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Total holiday retail sales increased 3.0 percent, below NRF’s projected forecast of 4.1 to $579.8 billion. Additionally, non-store holiday sales grew 11.1 percent. Shop.org in October forecasted a 12.0 percent growth in online sales in the months of November and December.
“For over six months, we’ve been saying that the fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty could impact holiday sales. As the number shows, these issues had a visible impact on consumer spending this holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We can’t expect consumers to continue to carry the burden of growing our economy—Washington must put political differences aside and do what it takes to get our country growing again and Americans back to work.”
December retail sales, released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.
Other findings from the December retail sales report include:
• Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 1.0 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 2.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• General merchandise stores’ sales were unchanged seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 3.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 1.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 9.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
This comes from the Associated General Contractors of America:
Prices for construction materials inched down in December, closing out a year of relatively subdued changes in both materials costs and bid prices, according to an analysis of new federal figures. The price decline was likely to be temporary, noting that the vast majority of contractors predict materials prices will rise in 2013.
“Moderate price swings for several materials last year gave contractors some breathing room, but future price spikes could push many firms into the red,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association. “Contractors still have not recovered from the cost increases they had to absorb in 2010 and 2011.”
For the 12 months ending in December, the producer price index for all construction inputs rose 1.3 percent, similar to what contractors are estimated to charge for new nonresidential buildings, Simonson noted. The index for new school buildings rose 1.1 percent; new industrial and office construction, 1.4 percent; and new warehouses, 2.6 percent. Materials costs rose more than 5 percent in both 2010 and 2011, while bid prices were virtually unchanged in 2010 and rose between 2.9 and 4.8 percent in 2011, depending on building type, Simonson added.
Here is a look at what it means in Oregon. Here is additional data on materials.
Awards are only good as the people who grant them. There’s plenty of shaky ground in the present climate as reported in this Wall Street Journal about the DISH Network award that wasn’t at the last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.