Wholesale Sales And Inventory Mixed In September 2014. Third Month In A Row Of Slowing Year-over-Year Growth

The headlines say wholesale sales improved and inventories grew. This data series is very noisy, and continues on a roller coaster of one good month /one bad month. Because of this noise, the best way to look at this series may be the unadjusted data three month rolling averages which decelerated for the third month in a row. However, even with decelerating growth, this sector is growing better than most of the economy.

I am not sure on what basis this data should be judged. Sales and inventories are growing twice as fast as GDP. The unadjusted rolling averages seem a little soft this month – but it could just be a new change in wholesale and associated warehousing coming into the holiday season. [note that Econintersect analysis is year-over-year – so that the analysis is based on the change from one year ago.] The long term one year trend is showing accelerating growth while the 3 month trend is slightly decelerating.  Econintersect Analysis:

  • unadjusted sales rate of growth decelerated 4.7% month-over-month
  • unadjusted sales year-over-year growth is up 4.2% year-over-year
  • unadjusted sales (but inflation adjusted) up 0.7% year-over-year
  • the 3 month rolling average of unadjusted sales decelerated 1.1% month-over-month, and up 5.3% year-over-year
  • Year-over-Year Sales – Unadjusted (blue line), Unadjusted but Inflation Adjusted (red line), 3 month Rolling Averages (yellow line)

  • unadjusted inventories up  6.7% year-over-year (decelerated 0.7% month-over-month), inventory-to-sales ratio is 1.13 which is historically is low for non-recessionary periods for Octobers.
  • US Census Headlines based on seasonally adjusted data:

  • sales up 0.2% month-over-month, up 4.3% year-over-year
  • inventories up 0.4% month-over-month, inventory-to-sales ratios were 1.16 one year ago – and are now 1.19.
  • the market expected inventory month-over-month change between -0.6% to +0.5% (consensus 0.2%) versus the +0.4% reported.
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    Author: Travis Esquivel

    Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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