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United States Retail November 2023

United States: Retail sales bounce back in November

Retail sales increased 0.3% month-on-month in seasonally adjusted terms in November (October: -0.2% mom), contrasting market forecasts of a 0.1% decline. The rebound was primarily due to upturns in motor vehicle and parts dealers and non-store retailers sales. In contrast, gasoline stations sales contracted at a steeper pace than in October amid lower fuel prices.

On an annual basis, retail sales rose at a quicker rate of 4.1% in November (October: +2.2% yoy), the best result since February.

Together with an expansion in private consumption (which covers both goods and services) in October, the November retail data suggests that household spending stayed resilient in Q4. This chimes with our Consensus for ongoing—albeit milder—sequential growth in household spending in the quarter.

Giving their interpretation of the retail data, Nomura analysts said:

“Based on anecdotal information and credit card data, consumer spending appeared to pick up during the H2 of November, in reaction to holiday season price discounts. Taking all incoming data into account, our tracking estimate for real personal spending in Q4 now stands at 2.8% q-o-q ar, which is a little lower than 3.6% in Q3 but remains strong.”

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