United States Retail

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United States: Retail sales accelerate slightly in November

December 11, 2015

In November, retail sales increased 0.2% over the previous month, in nominal terms. The print was slightly above the 0.1% increase recorded last month, but fell short of market expectations of a 0.3% increase. The result suggests that consumers are continuing to spend but holding onto the money saved from cheaper gas prices. Retail sales are a good indicator of the evolution of consumer spending, a key part of economic growth in the United States, as it accounts for over two thirds of overall GDP.

October’s result mainly reflects solid growth in sales at grocery stores, clothing retailers, and electronics and appliance stores.

Retail sales excluding cars and gas—a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index—increased 0.5% in November over the previous month. The result was greater than the 0.3% increase recorded in October.

Retail sales rose 1.4% in annual terms in November, which was below the 1.7% tallied in October. Moreover, the annual trend declined, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from 2.5% in October to 2.2% in November.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 2.9% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.7%.

Author:, Economist

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United States Retail Chart

USA Retail November 2015

Note: Month-on-month and year-on-year variation of nominal retail sales in %.
Source: United States Census Bureau

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