Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Logistics business: September retail sales show slight gains

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 18, 2010

September retail sales showed slight gains, according to data released by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF).

September retail sales, which include non-general merchandise like automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants, at $367.7 billion, were up 0.6 percent from August and up 7.3 percent year-over-year, according to the Department of Commerce. Commerce added that total retail sales from through July through September of this year were up a revised 5.7 percent year-over-year from an earlier estimate of 0.4 percent.

The NRF reported that September retail sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted over August and 4.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“September retail sales show that the economy is continuing to grow, even though it remains at a subpar pace,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in a statement. “Given the stubbornly high unemployment and other challenges that families are facing today, these increases are still quite impressive.”

As LM has reported, the first half of 2010 showed a fair amount of promise in terms of sustained economic growth. The second half, so far, has been a different story, with unemployment at 9.6 percent, sluggish consumer spending, and declining—or stagnant— volumes in some modes of freight transportation. But even with signs of volumes weakening, they still remain above dismal 2009 levels. One driver for this is due to manufacturers and retailers slowly building up inventories after deliberately keeping them low for months to better match up with low demand levels during the recession.

And a separate report from Commerce last week said that business inventories were up 0.6 percent in August from July and up 4.7 percent from August 2009.  The report also stated that inventory sales were up 0.1 percent in August from the prior month and were up 8.2 percent year-over-year. If this trend continues, it could bode well for freight transportation carriers in the coming months ahead.

Some other somewhat encouraging signs include still healthy data coming from the Institute of Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index and healthy port volume on the import front, especially from West Coast ports.

“We are seeing retail sales picking up somewhat, with retailers currently having [sufficient] inventory for sales….and are trying to empty out the inventory they brought in earlier in the year,” said Ben Hackett, president of London-based Hackett Associates in a recent interview.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The wave that heavy e-commerce activity currently rides is not close to crashing anytime all that soon. And with that comes a heightened focus on the logistics-related aspects of e-commerce, specifically on the last-mile side of things.

Conveyors, shuttles and robots were on display, but as with last year's Modex, software is where the action is in today’s materials handling industry.

When assessing areas of risk facing their departments, nearly half (45%) of Chief Procurement Officers named supplier risk as a top concern, according to a new survey by Consero Group.

2014 was a very good year for the Port of New Orleans, and officials there are forecasting an even more robust cargo scenario in 2015.

Many material handling systems used today are beginning to show their age. What were once considered brand new systems are now deteriorating and fighting to stay current.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA