Commerce reported that November retail sales, at $528 billion, rose 0.2% over October and were up 3.3% compared to November 2018. And it added that total retail sales for the three-month period from September through November headed up 3.5% compared to the same period a year ago.
NRF reported that retail sales were up 0.1% from October to November on a seasonally adjusted basis and up 2.1% on an unadjusted basis. NRF’s numbers do not include automobile dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.
For the three-month period from September through November, retail sales were up 3.3% annually, down from a 4.2% annual spread from August through October.
“November showed modest growth on the surface, but you have to remember that the late timing of Thanksgiving delayed the beginning of the busiest portion of the holiday season and pushed Cyber Monday’s billions of dollars of retail sales into December,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “These numbers are more about the calendar than consumer confidence. Consumer spending has been solid, and there’s still a lot of spending to be done. With strong employment and higher wages, we’re on track for a strong holiday season.”
The NRF executive added that November’s annual comparison was challenging because November 2018 was up an unusually strong 4.7 percent over the year before. But December 2018 was down 0.2 percent from the year before, making it likely that next month could show a strong comparison.
Earlier this year, NRF issued a holiday season shopping forecast, which stated that holiday season retail sales—which is comprised of November and December—are pegged to increase between 3.8%-to-4.2% for a total coming in between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.
Industry performance: NRF reported that online and other non-store sales were up 7.2% year-over-year and up 0.8% month-over-month seasonally adjusted, while general merchandise stores were flat year-over-year and up 0.1% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
Get news, papers, media & research, delivered.
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Supply Chain 24/7.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and we’ll keep you up-to-date.