United States: Retail sales strengthen in November amid falling gas prices
December 11, 2014
In November, growth in retail sales increased 0.7% over the previous month, in nominal terms. The print came in above the 0.5% increase recorded in October (previously reported: +0.3% month-on-month) and overshot market expectations of a 0.4% increase. The result, which was the strongest in eight months, was driven by higher sales in most categories, including motor vehicles and parts dealers, building material stores, as well as clothing retailers. Consumers continue to benefit from increased purchasing power amid a steady decline in gas prices. Improvements in the labor market are also helping drive consumer confidence.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas—a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index—increased 0.6% in November over the previous month. The reading was just below the 0.7% expansion recorded in October but slightly above market expectations of a 0.5% increase.
Retail sales rose 5.1% in annual terms in November, which followed the 4.5% increase recorded in October. Moreover, the annual trend increased, with annual average growth in retail sales ticking up from 3.9% in October to 4.0% in November.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist