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US Retail Sales in November Surpass Forecasts; Shows Robust Consumer Spending

By:
James Hyerczyk
Updated: Dec 14, 2023, 13:41 UTC

Despite economic uncertainties, the US retail sector's upward trajectory in November hints at resilient consumer confidence.

Retail Sales

Highlights

  • November retail sales up 0.3%, exceeding estimates
  • E-commerce, food services sectors witness significant growth
  • Retail sector maintains upward trend despite economic challenges

US Retail Sales Exceed Expectations in November

The US retail and food services sector demonstrated resilience in November 2023, with sales surpassing expectations and indicating robust consumer spending.

Surpassing Estimates

Contrary to the forecasted decrease of 0.1%, advance estimates revealed a 0.3% increase in retail and food services sales compared to the previous month, totaling $705.7 billion. This figure represents a significant 4.1% rise from November 2022, showcasing a steady year-over-year growth.

Retail Trade and E-Commerce Growth

Retail trade sales experienced a modest increase of 0.1% from October 2023, marking a 3.1% growth from the previous year. Notably, nonstore retailers, primarily e-commerce platforms, saw a substantial 10.6% increase from last year. Food services and drinking places also witnessed a remarkable 11.3% rise compared to November 2022, reflecting changing consumer habits and a rebound in social activities.

Revision of Previous Data

The sales data for the September 2023 to October 2023 period underwent a revision, showing a slightly steeper decline of 0.2%, compared to the initially estimated 0.1% decrease. Despite this adjustment, the overall sales for the September 2023 through November 2023 period were up by 3.4% from the same period a year ago.

Short-Term Forecast

Given the unexpected uptick in retail sales and the resilience shown in e-commerce and food services, the short-term outlook for the US retail sector appears optimistic. While economic challenges persist, consumer spending trends suggest a continued upward trajectory, albeit with caution due to potential market fluctuations.

In summary, the latest retail sales data presents a positive picture of the US economy, with consumer spending patterns defying initial estimates and contributing to a stronger-than-expected retail performance in November 2023.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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