Holiday shopping season off to strong start

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Holiday shopping season off to strong start

By Gina Acosta - 12/14/2017

Retail sales in November were up 6 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Online and other non-store sales grew 10.5 percent year-over-year, reflecting the growth of online shopping. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“This has been an impressive start to the holiday season, perhaps the best in the last few years,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The combination of job and wage gains, modest inflation and a heathy balance sheet along with elevated consumer confidence has led to solid holiday spending by American households.”

There were broad-based monthly increases across most sectors with the exception of general merchandise stores, which remained unchanged.

November’s results indicate that retail sales for the holiday season – defined as November and December – are on track to meet or exceed NRF’s holiday sales forecast for an increase between 3.6 and 4 percent over last year.

Specifics include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted from October and up 10.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 2.1 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 7.3 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.2 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 8.6 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Building materials and garden supplies stores were also up 1.2 percent seasonally adjusted from October and up 11.2 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Sporting goods stores were up 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 2.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 4.9 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 3.2 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Food and beverage stores were up 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over October and up 3.7 percent year-over-year unadjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were unchanged from October but up 4.4 percent year-over-year unadjusted.

“Today’s report is indicative of a strong consumer who is confident about the current and future state of the economy,” Kleinhenz said. “The improved willingness to spend and the purchasing power of consumers will continue to be an economic driver of growth into 2018.”

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