U.S. retail sales for November short of expectations

Shoppers walk in New York City's Times Square on "Black Friday," November 29. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Dec. 13 (UPI) — Retail sales in the United States rose only slightly in November in somewhat of a disappointing start to the holiday season, the Commerce Department said in its monthly report Friday.

The report cited $528 billion in retail and food services sales, an increase of 0.2 percent over October. The increase was significantly lower than the 0.5 percent predicted by most analysts.

A late start to the traditional shopping season, however, could explain part of the downturn. A late Thanksgiving this year pushed “Cyber Monday” to Dec. 1 and out of the November numbers.

Total sales for the three-month period from September through November were up 3.5 percent from the same period in 2018, the report said, while sales for the two-month September-to-October period were revised upward from 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent.

“Non-store,” or online retailers like Amazon, performed better last month — climbing 0.8 percent for November, representing a 11.5 percent increase over October 2018.

Among traditional retailers, electronics stores performed best with an increase of 0.7 percent, although their sales were still down 1.5 percent from last November.


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