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

UPS today announced diluted earnings per share of $1.32 for the third quarter 2014, a 13.8% improvement over the prior year period. Operating profit increased 8.3%, resulting from balanced growth across all three segments.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico increased 4.4 percent from August 2013 to August 2014 at $100.6 billion.

As expected, global trade dipped from August to September but still saw annual gains, according to data issued this week by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

Transportation and logistics merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the third quarter saw annual gains, which were driven by smaller deals in the trucking logistics, shipping, and passenger air sectors, according to data issued in the Intersections report by PwC this week.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it appears retailers are not quite done getting inventory set up and on the shelves in time for what is expected to be a fairly active shopping season. That much was evident based on recent data for September volumes issued by the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB).

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA