In the previous post I covered detailed analysis of Core Retail Sales data for May 2014: here. Now, a quick look at Q2 averages (for 2014 we have average over April and May) for the period from 2005 through latest.
Take a look at the chart plotting declines (as of April-May average) in retail sales activity compared to peak for Q2 data:
This data shows the following:
- The only two sub-categories of goods and services where retail sales indices in Value terms are in shallower decline than in Volume terms (in other words inflation is positive and feeding through to consumers) are: Automotive Fuel and Bars - in other words two sectors where prices for inputs are largely controlled/set by the state.
- No category has recovered pre-crisis levels of retail sales by both value and volume, while only one category (Food) recovered sales in volume, relative to pre-crisis activity.
This puts into perspective the extent to which the recovery we are experiencing so far is fragile.