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Retail Sales: November Slower Than Expected

December 14, 2016
Bottom Line: Total retail spending rose in November, less than expectations. Core retail sales increased modestly and were led by gains in home furnishing, while sales at sports and hobby retailers were lower. . Both overall and core retail sales are still increasing on a year over year basis. Core Sales ex-gasoline stations and ex-building materials during October and November were modestly above their Q3 averages, suggesting that real consumer spending will continue to add positively to Q4 GDP.

Retail Sales ROSE by 0.1% in November, compared with the market consensus for an increase of 0.3%. The October estimate was revised lower from 0.8% to 0.6%. Retail sales are now 3.8% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 1.6%. Spending at motor vehicle dealers fell by 0.5%.

Core Retail Sales ROSE by 0.2%, compared with the market consensus for an increase 0.4%. The October estimate was revised lower from 0.8% to 0.6%. Core retail sales are now 3.9% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 0.6%.

In November, gains at grocery stores (+0.4%), gasoline stations, primarily due to high gasoline prices (+0.3%), building materials (+0.3%), furniture & home furnishing (+0.7%). were partially offset by declines in miscellaneous retailers (-0.8%), and sporting goods, hobbies, etc. (-1.0%).

Core Retail Sales ex Gasoline ROSE by 0.2% and are now 3.8% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was a moderate 3.4% .