SOURCE: Michigan Retailers Association

July 27, 2011 14:15 ET

Michigan Retailers Association: Little Change in Michigan Retail Sales

LANSING, MI--(Marketwire - Jul 27, 2011) - Slightly more Michigan retailers expect improved 3rd Quarter sales, following a small slip in sales performance during June, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index survey conducted by Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The future-outlook portion of the Index rose by three points while the current-performance gauge dropped by nearly a point and a half during June.

"We don't see either change as very significant," explained James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer. "Our Index numbers have been roughly the same for the past three months."

Hallan pointed to the state's stubborn unemployment rate as a reason that sales haven't shown much improvement this year. June's 10.5 percent jobless rate was 0.2 points higher than May's and the highest since 10.7 in January.

"We can't expect to see significant improvement in retail sales until the unemployment rates starts moving below double digits."

The Michigan Retail Index for June found that 42 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 34 percent recorded declines and 24 percent saw no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 52.1, down from 53.5 in May and 53.1 in April.

Index values above 50 generally indicate an increase in overall retail activity.

Looking forward, 45 percent of retailers expect sales during July-September to increase over the same period last year, while 18 percent project a decrease and 37 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 63.7, up from 60.5 in May and 60.9 in April.

Note: William Strauss, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, can be reached at 312.322.8151.

Michigan Retail Index
June 2011 results
Index figures dating to July 1994 are available at http://www.retailers.com/mra/news/michigan-retail-index.html

June Performance
Retailers reporting increased, decreased or unchanged sales, inventory, prices, promotions and hiring compared to the same month a year ago

(numbers in parentheses indicate May results)

% Increased % Decreased % No Change Index* Responses
Sales 42 (53) 34 (37) 24 (10) 52.1 (53.5) 91 (72)
Inventory 27 (27) 38 (26) 35 (47) 44.4 (47.5) 88 (70)
Prices 36 (32) 9 (10) 55 (58) 62.9 (59.5) 89 (71)
Promotions 34 (34) 8 (4) 58 (62) 62.0 (65.3) 89 (71)
Hiring 13 (13) 9 (5) 78 (82) 49.7 (50.3) 89 (71)

Outlook for Next 3 Months
Retailers expecting increased, decreased or unchanged sales, inventory, prices, promotions and hiring compared to the same period a year ago

(numbers in parentheses indicate May results)

% Increased % Decreased % No Change Index* Responses
Sales 45 (42) 18 (16) 37 (42) 63.7 (60.5) 91 (72)
Inventory 27 (19) 24 (23) 49 (58) 49.1 (43.3) 88 (70)
Prices 34 (31) 8 (9) 58 (60) 61.5 (60.7) 89 (70)
Promotions 36 (38) 6 (3) 58 (59) 62.9 (69.0) 89 (71)
Hiring 11 (15) 7 (3) 82 (82) 52.0 (54.4) 90 (71)

June Sales Performance & Outlook for Next 3 Months, by Region
(the first number indicates sales performance for the month; the number in parentheses indicates outlook for the next three months)

% Increased % Decreased % No Change
North 27 (36) 36 (14) 37 (50)
West 27 (41) 41 (23) 32 (36)
Central 67 (75) 25 (0) 8 (25)
East 50 (17) 17 (50) 33 (33)
Southeast 56 (44) 35 (17) 9 (39)

*Seasonally adjusted diffusion index. A diffusion index, which is the sum of the percent of respondents indicating increase and half the percent indicating no change, is calculated and then seasonally adjusted using the U.S. Census Bureau's X-11 Seasonal Adjustment procedure. Index values above 50 generally indicate an increase in activity, while values below 50 indicate a decrease.

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