Retail Sales Up 0.2% In November, Weaker Than Expected

U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in November as sales in food and beverages against stronger sales of motor vehicles. This has tampered economists expectations for this holiday season.

Total retail sales increased 0.2% after rising in October by 0.6%. Many economists had expected retail sales to rise by another 0.6% in November. These numbers come as a bit of a shock to many after all the news that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were setting records.

“It’s fairly disappointing given that all the evidence was pointing to fairly strong gains during the month,” said Millan Mulraine a macro strategist at TD Securities in New York.

Some economists have been warning that the shopping frenzy from the Thanksgiving holidays would not translate into the rest of the holiday season because of high unemployment.

Retail sales are also feeling the pressure from lower than expected retail sales. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) reported a drop in third quarter profits and its stock is down more than 12% this morning.

Gasoline sales also took a hit in November falling 0.1% after falling 0.4% in October.

Small businesses saw an improvement in November as a more optimistic outlook on sales and hiring helped confidence. The National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index rose to 92.0 in November.

Overall, while sales were up slightly, many economists wanted to see a bigger jump since the holidays is the time of year when consumers usually spend the most money.

written by

An avid market watcher, Martin enjoys the tech arena the most with the Nasdaq being his main area of focus. A finance major, Martin is working to the goal of one day ringing the bell at the NYSE.
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