What is it?
Retail sales (RESL) is the seasonally adjusted monthly sales in thousands of dollars for retail and food services excluding sales taxes. Year over year change in retail sales is the percent difference in retail sales from the same month one year prior. i.e. Retail sales (in thousands) in April 2018 was $497,852 and in April 2017 it was $475,145. Retail sales change (RESLG) is ($497,852 - $475,145) / $475,145 = 4.78%.
Who is interested?
Analysts, High level executives, owner operators
What does it tell me?
Retail sales levels give a general idea of how well the retail sector is performing. The retail sector is the end point for finished goods and is a good indicator of economic well being. The weakness of sales is there is no accounting for inflation, which is why it is good to look at the year over year change.
Example: A user wants to see the retail sales year over year change. They would enter RESLG.USA.