Richmond Fed Index Shows Mammoth Fall In Retail Sales

The Richmond Fed index is out, and it’s a big miss.

The headline number came in at -11, vs expectations of +7.

What’s really ugly? The retail sales component.

From the report:

Retail sales contracted this month, leaving the index at −22, 20-three points below last month’s reading. Sales of big-ticket items declined slightly, while shopper traffic dwindled. The index for big-ticket sales slipped to −5, a point lower than the June reading, while the index for shopper traffic tumbled 20-two points to −16. Inventories declined more slowly than last month, with that index settling at −12 compared to −22. Retailers were doubtful about sales in the next six months; the expectations index dropped to −29 from June’s reading of 11.

Retailers reduced their number of employees this month. The index fell twelve points lower to end at −14. Average retail wages were little changed, however. That index ended the survey period at 1, compared to the June reading of 4.

This chart shows the dive.

This isn’t the only recent sign of a weak consumer.

McDonald’s recently reported weak numbers, thanks to a soft consumer.

June retail sales were also poor.

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