The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S.and food services sales for December, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $343.2 billion, a decrease of 2.7 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month and 9.8 percent (±0.7%) below December 2007. Total sales for the 12 months of 2008 were down 0.1 percent (±0.4%)* from 2007. Total sales for the October through December 2008 period were down 7.7 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The October to November 2008 percent change was revised from -1.8 percent (±0.5%) to -2.1 percent (±0.3%).
Retail trade sales were down 2.7 percent (±0.5%) from November 2008 and were 10.8 percent (±0.7%) below last year. Gasoline stations sales were down 35.5 percent (±1.5%) from December 2007 and motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 22.4 percent (±2.3%) from last year.