November Retail Sales Up 5 Percent

November 2018 retail sales increased 5 percent over 2017, according to the National Retail Federation.

Wrapping up the first half of the holiday shopping season, November retail sales also climbed 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from October–a figure that further supports the NRF’s holiday spending forecast.

The numbers represent all retail sales, excluding sales of automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Consumers have the capacity and confidence to spend this holiday season,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “This is a good start to the holiday season and consistent with our outlook. Consumer spending remains solid and clearly provides evidence that the economy is healthy as we head into 2019.”

The NRF’s forecast predicts that November and December’s holiday sales will increase between 4.3 to 4.8 percent over the same period last year and will reach between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion.

Key retail sector specifics in November include:

• Online and other non-store sales increased 12.1 percent year-over-year and climbed 2.3 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• Electronics and appliance stores sales rose 5 percent year-over-year and climbed 1.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• General merchandise stores sales increased 4.2 percent year-over-year and climbed 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• Clothing and clothing accessory stores sales increased 4.1 percent year-over-year but decreased 0.2 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• Health and personal care stores increased 3.6 percent year-over-year and climbed 0.9 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• Building materials and garden supply stores sales increased 3.5 percent year-over-year but declined 0.3 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• Grocery and beverage stores sales increased 3.3 percent year-over-year and climbed 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted;

• Furniture and home furnishings stores sales increased 2.9 percent year-over-year and climbed 1.2 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted and

• Sporting goods stores sales declined 7.8 percent year-over-year but increased 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

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