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The effects of weather on retail sales


  • Martha Starr-McCluer


Monthly fluctuations in consumer spending are often attributed to the weather. This paper presents a model in which weather affects the productivity of time in nonmarket activities (such as shopping or recreation), and so, via time and budget constraints, may induce substitution in spending across goods and over time. Using monthly data on retail sales and weather data from the National Weather Service, I find that unusual weather has a modest but significant role in explaining monthly sales fluctuations. However, lagged effects often offset original effects, so that weather's influence tends to wash out at a quarterly frequency.

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  • Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "The effects of weather on retail sales," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2000-08

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Wilcox, David W, 1992. "The Construction of U.S. Consumption Data: Some Facts and Their Implications for Empirical Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 922-941, September.
    7. Stephen A. Smith & Dale D. Achabal, 1998. "Clearance Pricing and Inventory Policies for Retail Chains," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(3), pages 285-300, March.
    8. English, William B & Miron, Jeffrey A & Wilcox, David W, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Model of Consumption: A Correction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 988-991, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    2. Barbera, Michael & Northey, Gavin & Septianto, Felix & Spanjaard, Daniela, 2018. "Those prices are HOT! How temperature-related visual cues anchor expectations of price and value," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 178-181.
    3. Joelle SAAD-LESSLER & George TSELIOUDES, 2009. "Storms, Climate Change, and the US Economy: A National Analysis," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
    4. Jean-Louis Bertrand & Xavier Brusset, 2018. "Managing the financial consequences of weather variability," Journal of Asset Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(5), pages 301-315, September.
    5. Bertrand, Jean-Louis & Brusset, Xavier & Fortin, Maxime, 2015. "Assessing and hedging the cost of unseasonal weather: Case of the apparel sector," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 244(1), pages 261-276.
    6. Badorf, Florian & Hoberg, Kai, 2020. "The impact of daily weather on retail sales: An empirical study in brick-and-mortar stores," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
    7. Evgeniya Tonkova, 2017. "Specific Applications of Weather-Based Marketing," Journal of Emerging Trends in Marketing and Management, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 204-209, October.
    8. Brigitte Roth Tran, 2019. "Sellin’ in the Rain: Adaptation to Weather and Climate in the Retail Sector," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-067, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Joelle SAAD-LESSLER & George TSELIOUDIS, 2010. "Storms, Climate Change, And The Us Economy: A National Analysis," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 10(1).
    10. Verstraete, Gylian & Aghezzaf, El-Houssaine & Desmet, Bram, 2019. "A data-driven framework for predicting weather impact on high-volume low-margin retail products," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 169-177.
    11. Frank Youhua Chen & Candace Arai Yano, 2010. "Improving Supply Chain Performance and Managing Risk Under Weather-Related Demand Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(8), pages 1380-1397, August.
    12. Nicholas Apergis & Rangan Gupta, 2016. "Can Weather Conditions in New York Predict South African Stock Returns?," Working Papers 201634, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    13. Boriss Siliverstovs & Anna Sandqvist, 2018. "Is it good to be bad or bad to be good?: Assessing the aggregate impact of abnormal weather on consumer spending," KOF Working papers 18-443, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    14. Apergis, Nicholas & Gupta, Rangan, 2017. "Can (unusual) weather conditions in New York predict South African stock returns?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 377-386.

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    Econometric models; Consumption (Economics); Retail trade;

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