November retail sales up, including food and beverage
Retail sales in November increased 0.9 percent over October on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 6 percent year-over-year unadjusted, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Online and other non-store sales grew 10.5 percent year-over-year, reflecting the growth of online shopping.
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 percent over last year.
• Food and beverage stores were up 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 3.7 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
• Online and other non-store sales were up 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted from October and up 10.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
• Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 4.9 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
• General merchandise stores were unchanged from October but up 4.4 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
“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 heathy 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 added. “The improved willingness to spend and the purchasing power of consumers will continue to be an economic driver of growth into 2018.”