The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $412.9 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month and 5.4 percent (±0.7%) above September 2011. Total sales for the July through September 2012 period were up 4.8 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The July to August 2012 percent change was revised from 0.9 percent (±0.5%) to 1.2 percent (±0.3%).
Retail trade sales were up 1.2 percent (±0.5%) from August 2012 and 5.3 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Nonstore retailers sales were up 15.0 percent (±3.1%) from September 2011 and auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 9.3 percent (±2.5%) from last year.
The advance estimates are based on a subsample of the Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,000 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms. Responding firms account for approximately 65% of the MARTS dollar volume estimate. For an explanation of the measures of sampling variability included in this report, please see the Reliability of Estimates section on the last page of this publication.
* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero.
The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different than zero.