U.S. retail sales rise as wholesale inflation slows in December

16 January, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • EUR  USD Dips Slightly after Mixed December US Retail Sales

The category that includes online, as well as catalog and kiosk retailers, saw a 13.2 jump in sales from December 2015.

The NRF reported that retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, were up 0.2 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from November to December and 3.2 percent on an unadjusted basis compared to December 2015.

The National Retail Federation, which bases is numbers on Commerce Department figures, said Friday that holiday retail sales in November and December rose 4 percent to $658.3 billion.

Retail trade sales increased 0.8% from November and are up 4.3% from a year ago.

"While there might have been some bumps in the road for individual companies, the retail industry overall had a solid holiday season and retailers will work to sustain this in the year ahead", Shay added.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales inched up by 0.2 percent in December after rising by 0.3 percent in November. "Retail mirrors the economy".

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Higher average hourly earnings, lower unemployment, and rising home values and stock market investments were potential factors in the increase in spending, according to NRF's report.

In October, retail sales rose 2 per cent from a year ago, but dipped 0.6 per cent without vehicle sales.

The healthy spending was likely fueled by rising consumer confidence, which has jumped after the election to the highest level in almost a decade.

"There is no reason to suspect that consumption growth is going to weaken in the first half of this year", Paul Ashworth, the chief United States economist at Capital Economics in NY, told Reuters.

The disparity between those results and the overall retail spending numbers illustrate how certain longtime retailers, particularly department stores, have been struggling as consumers have shifted their spending to online sites such as Amazon.com, off-price retailers such as T.J. Maxx and to smaller boutique retailers. Also, department stores decreased by 7.0% unadjusted from past year. Earlier this month, Macy's announced that they were going to cut 10,000 jobs after suffering weak holiday sales.

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