Short Season Spurs November Sales

The shortened holiday shopping season drove consumer spending in November as Americans took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to make holiday purchases, according to the National Retail Federation.

The NRF reports that November retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year, numbers that are consistent with the NRF’s holiday sales forecast of 3.9 percent total growth.

“Consumers took advantage of a very promotional holiday season to shop at their favorite retailers during the Thanksgiving weekend,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Consumer confidence and sentiment are steadily improving, but spending remains at a modest pace. While it seems that the economy is improving, the future remains far from certain.”?

November retail sales released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 4.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.

“Once again, consumers have demonstrated their ability to drive the economy forward,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “By-and-large, consumers have pent-up purchasing power and are willing to spend this holiday season. Retailers will compete for each and every shopper and sale, and promotions and deals will continue throughout the month. 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.”?