MERRY AGAIN: Retail Sales Blow Away Expectations

MERRY AGAIN: Retail Sales Blow Away Expectations

Retailers and restaurateurs were smiling in November as consumers went on a spending binge to kick off the holiday season.

US retail sales rose more than economists expected in November as Americans increased spending at the start of the holiday shopping season, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Sales at gasoline stations surged 2.8% during November after growing 0.3% in October.

The September to October 2017 percent change was revised from up 0.2 percent to up 0.5 percent. Without auto sales, total retail sales would have been up for the month by a full 1 percent. That was significantly above economists' expectations of 0.3 percent. Year-over-year core sales increased 5.7%. Nonstore retailer sales are up 10.4% year-over-year as online retailers continue to grow their market share.

As usual, Internet sales (non-store, as the Census Bureau puts it) were up strongly for the month, at 2.5 percent.

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