U.S. retail sales in November increased by 0.3%

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Department of Commerce said that U.S. retail sales increased in November amid stronger demand for autos and other goods.

In a statement released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, retail and food service sales jumped by seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent to $412.40bn last month. A Dow Jones Newswires survey of economists estimated a 0.5 per cent increase. The November figure is 3.7 per cent higher compared to the same month in the previous year.

In October, retail sales fell 0.3 per cent in line with previous estimate. Hurricane Sandy caused a dent in auto sales in the East Coast, but in November many buyers returned to the showrooms.

The increased sales of other retail goods has slightly offset the sharp lower purchases of gasoline, meaning sales are actually flat when excluding autos, which comprise a significant size of the report. Retail sales increased 0.7 per cent in November when gas and autos are excluded.

Spending at electronics and appliance stores grew by 2.5 per cent while non-store retailers, which included online shopping, jumped by 3.0 percent. Overall growth for the month was also helped by better sales performance of motor vehicles and parts, which inched up by 1.4 percent.

In November, sales at building material shops jumped by 1.6 percent amid the post-Sandy reconstruction. Sales weakened due to store closures as a result of flooding, damages and power outages, although some retailers saw increase in spending as residents tried to rebuild and restock following the superstorm.

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