U.S Retail Sales Increased by 0.5% in December – January Report

Retails and foods services sales rose again for the second consecutive month, during December 2012 by 0.5% compared with November’s sales and were also above the sales at December 2011.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (pdf file) published yesterday its monthly report on the changes in the U.S. retail and food sales for December 2012.

This report adjusts for seasonal variances and holidays but doesn’t control for price shifts. In December, the U.S. retail and food sales reached $415.7 billion, which is 0.5% above the sales in November and 4.7% above December 2011. The gasoline stations sales were down by 1.6% in December compared to November but 2% above the sales in December 2011. Total sales of gasoline in January – December 2012 reached $547.1 billion (not adjusted for seasonality) – an increase of 4% compared to 2011.

This shows a moderate gain in the U.S demand for retail and also a rise in demand for energy commodities.

If the demand for gasoline will continue to decline, it could signal a slowdown in the growing demand for oil in the U.S and thus may pull back the prices of oil. Conversely, the recent moderate rise in the retail sales might suggest the U.S economy is slowly improving.

The major energy commodities prices fell yesterday; the major exchange rates such as the Euro US dollar alsodecreased. This means, the news of the modest decline in gasoline stations sales may have had a moderate negative effect on energy prices.

Current Nymex crude oil futures (short term delivery) is traded down by 0.1% to $93.18 per barrel as of 09:22*.

Euro to US dollar exchange rate is currently traded down to 1.3274, a 0.24% decrease as of 09:22*.

Current gold futures (short term delivery) is traded at $1,678 per t oz. a $5.5 decrease as of 09:22*.

(* GMT)

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