Article source: CMDGroup
Obtaining a proper read on retail sales in the U.S. and Canada these days has been made harder by the sharp drop in gasoline prices, -20.7% year over year south of the border and -13.1% on the north side.
As a result, February’s cash register ‘take’ by gas station operators in the U.S. was -15.6% year over year, while in Canada, in January, it was -7.1%. (Retail sales data from Statistics Canada consistently lags results from the Census Bureau by a month.)
Therefore, U.S. retail sales in February that were +3.1% year over year in total including gas station billings, were a much better +4.8% without them.
Similarly in Canada, an already good jump in total retail sales in January of +6.8% improved to an outstanding +7.3% when sales at the pump were omitted.