Release Date: Released on a weekly basis every Thursday morning
Released By: Redbook Research Inc.

The Redbook is a sales-weighted measure of the growth in sales in a store year-over-year, derived from a sample of large US general merchandise retailers that represent approximately 9,000 stores. The Redbook Index monitors and analyzes trends in retail sales and the consumer economy. The survey which is used to derive this index is carried out by Redbook Research Inc. The report is also known as the Johnson Redbook Index, and was founded in 1964 by Edward F. Johnson.

The Johnson Redbook Index is the proprietary retail sales index of Redbook Research Inc. The Redbook Index acts as a proprietary indicator of retail sales growth and provides an advance picture of what retail sales trends would be ahead of any official releases. It is released as a 4-page report.

Six categories of retailers are tracked by this index: Apparel Specialty, Department, Discount, Furniture, Drug, and Miscellaneous.

Time of Release

The weekly indicator is released by Redbook Research Inc on a weekly basis every Thursday morning, with clients who are subscribed to the publication receiving notice of this release via conference call, e-mail or fax before it is made public. It can be publicly seen on the websites of Econoday, Bloomberg, Thomas Reuters and via subscription to the Redbook Research website.

Interpreting the Data

The Johnson Redbook Consumer Indicators is an in-depth analysis of the consumer / retail economy. This monthly research report focuses on consumer spending, personal income, and other indicators, as well as employment, housing, inventories, and more.

Ordinarily, this is a low to moderate market impact indicator. However, certain events can transform this indicator into a high market impact indicator such as during a holiday season when retailers make most of their profits (e.g. Black Friday shopping) or when natural disasters occur which cause panic purchases at retail stores (such as just before a hurricane). Generally, any change in fundamentals in the economy which lead to massive changes in consumer spending or retail sales will lead the markets to start watching this index.


The Index provides advance notice of any changes to the way consumers spend money, which in turn affects the business cycle, consumer inflation and subsequently interest rate policy from central banks. Redbook also performs statistical trend analysis on other important retail sales data such as retailer same-store data. The Redbook has one of the largest customized databases on retailer same-store data available in the market. The Redbook closely monitors the consumer economy for the fundamentals that drive consumer demand.