Retail sales in November increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted over October and were up 2.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year. November’s results build on October’s increase of 0.2 percent month-over-month and a strong 4.1 percent year-over-year. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
As of November, the three-month moving average was up 3.3 percent over the same period a year ago, compared with 4.2 percent in October.
The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday retail sales during November and December will increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent to $727.9 billion-$730.7 billion.
“November showed modest growth on the surface, but you have to remember that the late timing of Thanksgiving delayed the beginning of the busiest portion of the holiday season and pushed Cyber Monday’s billions of dollars of retail sales into December,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.
“These numbers are more about the calendar than consumer confidence. Consumer spending has been solid, and there’s still a lot of spending to be done. With strong employment and higher wages, we’re on track for a strong holiday season.”
Kleinhenz noted that the year-over-year comparison was challenging because November 2018 was up an unusually strong 4.7 percent over 2017. But December 2018 was down 0.2 percent from the year before, making it likely that next month could show a strong comparison.
NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said overall November sales – including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants – were up 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from October and up 3.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
News Source: idexonline