November retail sales better than expected

Retail sales in November increased a better-than-expected 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The figure includes categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Analysts were expecting sales to rise 0.6% in last month. The latest retail sales numbers were 4.7% above November 2012 numbers.

Sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. Some of the biggest gains were by furniture, electronics and building materials retailers.

“Once again, consumers have demonstrated their ability to drive the economy forward,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Although this holiday season will remain challenging for some retailers, today’s sales report bodes well for a solid holiday sales season, and may provide the foundation for accelerating economic growth and momentum in the New Year.”

The November retail sales report also included the following data:

  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 9.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 1.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.0% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Health and personal care stores’ sales were flat seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.4% unadjusted year-over-year.


  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 0.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 2.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.5% unadjusted year-over-year.