Retail Sales Disappoint to Start 2024

Retail sales fell more than expected to start 2024, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau.

  • M-O-M: Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales fell to 700.3B in January 2024, down 0.8% from the prior month which was the biggest drop in 10 months.
  • Y-O-Y: Despite the monthly drop, retail sales are still up 0.6% when compared to the same time last year.

Swing & A Miss. Economists thought retail sales would fall by a smaller 0.1% in January.

Why The Drop. Building material & garden supply retailers fell 4.1% in January followed by miscellaneous retailers (-3.0%) an motor vehcile & parts dealers (-1.7%).

  • On the flip side, restaurants & bars were up 0.7% followed by grocery stores (+0.6%) and department stores (+0.5%).

BOTTOM LINE: Despite strong jobs reports and rising consumer sentiment, consumers are clearly reaching the tipping point when it comes to spending.