Description: this index measures the total sales of goods by all retail establishments in the U.S. (sales of services are not included). These figures are in current dollars, that is, they are not adjusted for inflation. It is the timeliest indicator of the broad consumer spending patterns and is adjusted for normal seasonal variation, holidays, and trading-day differences.
Retail sales are the first picture of consumer spending for a given month. Retail sales are often viewed ex-autos, as auto sales can move sharply from month-to-month. Retail sales can be quite volatile and the advance reports are subject to large revisions. Data is revised three months back every month and can be substantial.
Release Date: 8:30 AM (EST); monthly, midmonth and approximately two weeks following the reporting month's end.