Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in the month of November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in November after slipping by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent.
Economists had expected retail sales to edge down by 0.1 percent, matching the dip originally reported for the previous month.
Excluding a 0.5 percent increase in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales inched up by 0.2 percent in November after coming in unchanged in October. Ex-auto sales were expected to slip by 0.1 percent.
“Retail sales came in hot this morning and it shows the resilient consumer, which has kept the economy out of recession all year, continues to propel corporate profits and the market higher,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.
He added, “The big jump in retail sales shows that the death of the consumer – as well as the economy – has been greatly exaggerated and the much-hyped recession of 2023 isn’t going to materialize.”
The unexpected uptick in retail sales was partly due to a sharp increase in sales by food services and drinking places, which jumped by 1.6 percent during the month.
Sales by sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores, non-store retailers, furniture and home furnishings stores and health and personal care stores also saw notable growth.
Meanwhile, sales by gas stations plunged by 2.9 percent amid lower gasoline prices, while sales by department stores, miscellaneous store retailers and electronics and appliance stores also slumped.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, climbed 0.4 percent in November after coming in unchanged in October.
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