United States Retail

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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.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 2.4% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2015, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.8%, which is also unchanged from last month’s projection.

Author:, Economist

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United States Retail Chart

USA Retail November 2014

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

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