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November Retail Sales Up 6% Over Last Year

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Retail sales in November increased 0.9% over October on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 6% year-over-year unadjusted, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Online and other non-store sales grew 10.5% year-over-year, reflecting the growth of online shopping. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“This has been an impressive start to the holiday season, perhaps the best in the last few years,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The combination of job and wage gains, modest inflation and a healthy balance sheet along with elevated consumer confidence has led to solid holiday spending by American households.

“Today’s report is indicative of a strong consumer who is confident about the current and future state of the economy,” Kleinhenz said. “The improved willingness to spend and the purchasing power of consumers will continue to be an economic driver of growth into 2018.”

There were broad-based monthly increases across most sectors with the exception of general merchandise stores, which remained unchanged.

November’s results indicate that retail sales for the holiday season – defined as November and December – are on track to meet or exceed NRF’s holiday sales forecast for an increase between 3.6 and 4% over last year.

Specifics include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 2.5% seasonally adjusted from October and up 10.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 2.1% seasonally adjusted over October and up 7.3% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.2% seasonally adjusted over October and up 8.6% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Building materials and garden supplies stores were also up 1.2% seasonally adjusted from October and up 11.2% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Sporting goods stores were up 0.9% seasonally adjusted over October and up 2.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.7% seasonally adjusted over October and up 4.9% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.4% seasonally adjusted over October and up 3.2% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Food and beverage stores were up 0.2% seasonally adjusted over October and up 3.7% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were unchanged from October, but up 4.4% year-over-year unadjusted.

About NRF

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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