SOURCE: Michigan Retailers Association

Michigan Retailers Association

August 19, 2015 17:30 ET

Michigan Retailers Sales Forecasts Cool Slightly After Hot July

LANSING, MI--(Marketwired - August 19, 2015) - Michigan retailers' sales forecasts through October slipped slightly after solid sales in July, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Most retailers posted sales increases in July, the second consecutive month of stronger sales. Their three-month forecasts dipped to their lowest of the year, although they remained at a high level.

"July's numbers are welcome news," said MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan. "It marked only the second time this year we've had two months in a row of rising sales."

"In addition, retailers across a wide spectrum of tradelines reported better sales, including gifts, apparel and personal services."

The July survey of MRA members showed 59 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 20 percent recorded declines and 21 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 65.3, up from 63.9 in June. A year ago July the performance index stood at 74.9.

The 100-point index gauges the performance of the state's overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by MRA and the Federal Reserve. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

Looking forward, 56 percent of retailers expect sales during August-October to increase over the same period last year, while 16 percent project a decrease and 28 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 69.7, down from 74.4 in June. A year ago July the outlook index stood at 76.7.

Asked if they had revised their 2015 sales forecast since January, 53 percent said no. Of those who made changes, 22 percent increased their prediction and 25 percent lowered it.

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
July 2015 results
Index figures dating to July 1994 are available at http://www.retailers.com/mra/news/michigan-retail-index.html

 
July 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 June results)
 
  % Increased % Decreased % No Change Index* Responses
Sales 59 (53) 20 (28) 21 (19) 65.3 (63.9) 73 (64)
Inventory 36 (42)
 26 (17) 38 (41)
 54.7 (61.1)
 73 (64) 
Prices 7 (10) 10 (6) 83 (84)
 46.9 (51.8) 73 (62)
Promotions  24 (21) 6 (2) 70 (77) 60.0 (57.9) 71 (62)
Hiring 14 (16) 17 (8) 69 (76)
 46.9 (53.0) 72 (64)
   
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 June results)  
   
  % Increased
 % Decreased % No Change Index* Responses
Sales 56 (61) 16 (8)
 28 (31)
 69.7 (74.4)
 71 (62)
Inventory 32 (33) 29 (20)
 39 (47)
 48.2 (53.7) 72 (64)
Prices 23 (19) 4 (3)
 73 (78)
 60.3 (58.2) 73 (64)
Promotions 37 (34) 7 (3)
 56 (63)
 66.8 (66.2) 72 (62)
Hiring 16 (14) 7 (8) 77 (78) 55.6 (52.3) 73 (64)
           
July 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 71 (56) 23 (38) 6 (6)
West 45 (47) 10 (11)
 45 (42)
Central 70 (70) 20 (10) 10 (20)
East 80 (20) 20 (20) 0 (60)
Southeast 50 (65) 30 (5)
 20 (30)
       
Question of the Month    
Since the beginning of the year, have you changed your forecast for sales growth this year?    
         
Increased > 5%   Increased 0-5%   No Change  Decreased 0-5%   Decreased > 5%
10%     12%  53%  15%  10%

*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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