Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Enjoy the higher U.S. retail sales for now

July 6, 2010

Check out expectations for June sales. RETAIL/

They look pretty good. Analysts expect a 3.3 percent increase in June, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Of course, that excludes Walmart, Best Buy and a slew of other major retailers that do not report monthly sales. It also comes off of a 4.9 percent drop a year earlier.

The later point is where things start to get worrisome. Later this year, comparisons turn tougher. That will come just in time for the key holiday selling season.

Recent economic data, like last week’s June employment report, show the economy continues to be sluggish, if not headed for a double dip into recession. So while the sales data are expected to show the 10th consecutive month of rising sales, the data likely mask underlying weakness.

“The fundamentals are just not adding up to a recovery,” Bryan Eshelman, managing director of AlixParners retail practice, said, referring to weakness in key indicators of economic strength like private sector employment.

Also in the basket:

Walgreen June same-store sales up 2 pct

Supply chain for iPhone highlights costs in China (NYTimes)

(Reuters Photo)

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