- U.S. Retail Sales Slow in November
Retail sales in the U.S. slowed in November, suggesting caution in consumer spending during election month and Black Friday.
Sales rose 0.1 percent in November to $465 billion, the Consumer Department said on Wednesday. Core retail sales, sales excluding auto and parts purchase, rose 0.2 percent.
The gains recorded were weaker than the 0.3 percent forecast by economists for overall retail sales and 0.4 percent for core retail sales.
Year-on-year, sales surged 3.8 percent, indicating strong improvement when compared to last year.
The weak data have been attributed to election uncertainty that caused consumers to be cautious early in the month.
Richard Galanti, a Chief Financial Officer at Costco Wholesale Corp. told investors last week that the week of the election “was worse than a snowstorm in terms of nobody wanting to go out and buy stuff,” but sales improved later in the month, according to the CFO, and the company overall sales rose for the first four weeks of the month, better than a year earlier.
On a critical look into the report, online sales rose 0.1 percent from October and were up 11.9 percent from last year. Indicating that sales at nonstore retail is attracting the bigger share of the holiday sales. Clothing sales also surged 0.9 percent year-on-year.
Sales at department stores dropped 6.4 percent from November 2015, while electronics and appliance stores fell 3.8 percent year-on-year.
On a yearly basis, care and truck sales rose 3.3 percent but fell 0.5 percent last month. Gas station sales climbed 0.3 percent last month and jumped 4 percent from a year ago.
Generally, consumer spending has been up in recent months, thanks to record low unemployment rate and steady economic growth bolstered by consumers, and a pick in consumer prices.
Experts expect a rebound in retail sales in December.