United States: Retail sales bounce back
December 13, 2012
In November, retail sales rose 0.3% over the previous month in nominal terms. The reading contrasted the 0.3% contraction recorded in October but undershot market expectations, which had anticipated retail sales increasing 0.6% over the previous month. 10 out of the 13 subcategories composing the index increased in November, with sales of electronics and at appliance stores recording the largest gains.
Retail sales excluding autos and gas - a closely watched subcategory within the retail trade index - expanded a stronger 0.7% over the previous month (October: -0.1% month-on-month), beating market expectations of a 0.5% expansion.
In annual terms, retail sales increased 3.7% in November, which is unchanged from October's figure. As a result, the trend continues to point down, with annual average growth in retail sales moderating from 5.5% in October to 5.2%.
Retail sales are a good indicator for 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.