Friday, December 11, 2009

Retail Sales Strong in November

ABC News:

Sales at U.S. retailers rose more than expected in November as consumers spent more on gasoline and a wide range of other goods, data showed on Friday, raising hopes of a self-sustaining economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales increased 1.3 percent last month, the largest advance since August, after rising by a downwardly revised 1.1 percent in October. It was the second straight monthly gain. Sales in October were previously reported to have increased 1.4 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales gaining 0.7 percent last month. Overall sales in November were boosted by strong receipts from gasoline stations, increased purchases of motor vehicles and parts, building materials and electronic goods among others. Gasoline sales surged 6 percent, the largest increase since June.
Compared to November last year, sales were up 1.9 percent, the first year-on-year gain since August 2008, a Commerce official said.

Source: Census


  1. At least Clusterstock is giving you full shout outs now!

  2. Surprisingly good results, and hopefully a start of a trend. But the change in gasoline sales really jumps out and may partially be explained by rising prices at the pump. How much did sales increase ex-gasoline? Without the contribution of this one factor, were the rest of sales that much above what was expected?

  3. 0.8% increase without gasoline sales. Still quite strong. The interesting thing will be how holiday sales were in December...

  4. Haven't dug into the report myself, but a blogger, Karl Denninger, notes that there may have been a change in methodologies for this release (

  5. Thanks for the ex gasoline number Jake.

    And while a 0.8% increase is strong(ish), notice that last month's numbers for retail sales were revised down by 0.3%(with core sales seeing a 0.2% downward revision).

    Factor out the downward revision in addition to the bump from the gasoline, and the change in retail sales comes in below expectations, I do believe.