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Retail Sales Strong in November

Overview of retail sales in November. On the surface, retail sales exceeded expectations, but there are a few underlying problems--for instance, increases in gasoline prices, sampling changes, and an unclear effect of a seasonal adjustment. - Ilene

Retail Sales Strong in November

Courtesy of Jake at Econompic Data

Retail Sales Rise More Than Expected For Month Of November

ABC News:

Sales at U.S. retailers rose more than expected in November as consumers spent more on gasoline and a wide range of other goods, data showed on Friday, raising hopes of a self-sustaining economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales increased 1.3 percent last month, the largest advance since August, after rising by a downwardly revised 1.1 percent in October. It was the second straight monthly gain. Sales in October were previously reported to have increased 1.4 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales gaining 0.7 percent last month. Overall sales in November were boosted by strong receipts from gasoline stations, increased purchases of motor vehicles and parts, building materials and electronic goods among others. Gasoline sales surged 6 percent, the largest increase since June.

Compared to November last year, sales were up 1.9 percent, the first year-on-year gain since August 2008, a Commerce official said.

 

Source: Census

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Retail sales continue to rise

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan Made 

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose more than expected last month, up 1.3 percent in November after a gain of 1.1 percent in October. The November gain was the biggest increase since a 2.4 percent surge in August and brings the year-over-year change (unadjusted for inflation) back into positive territory for the first time in 15 months.

This came as something of a surprise to analysts because retailers across the country had been reporting lackluster sales during the holiday shopping season so far.



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Though the overall increase was paced by a 6.0 percent gain in gasoline station sales, due largely to higher gasoline prices, gains were broad based, only three of the 13 retail sales categories posting declines. Excluding gasoline, overall retail sales rose 0.8 for the month.

Auto sales also continued to surprise, up 1.6 percent last month after a gain of 7.1 percent in October, continuing to recover from the Cash for Clunkers let-down a few months ago. Excluding autos, retail sales rose 1.2 percent.

Aside from gasoline, the sharpest increase in sales during November occurred at electronics and appliance stores where sales jumped 2.8 percent, likely an indication of the continuing fascination that Americans have with the current crop of electronics in advance of the holiday season. 

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November Retail Sales…

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker  

Autumn Retail Sales Were Better in 2008

Although retail sales surprised to the upside for November, according to today’s US Census Bureau report, sales for the September to November timeframe are down 2.1 percent over the same period in 2008.

Nov Retail Sales 09

Sad Shopper

The 2009 adjusted numbers for November show gains over October numbers in all retail categories except furniture and clothing. Sales at general merchandise stores, such as WalMart (WMT), and nonstore retailers, such as mail order, also showed gains, but sales at other retail stores fell.

The unadjusted numbers tell a bleaker story. Compared to the 2008 Sept-Nov timeframe, retail sales decreased in all categories except health/personal care and food services, showing double-digit declines in motor vehicles, furniture, building materials, and gasoline stations.

The U.S census bureau survey adjusts figures for seasonal variations but not for price changes.

 


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