Retail Sales up in November
he encouraging retail sales report for November was a surprise. U.S. retailers have been reporting generally lackluster results for the start of the holiday shopping season. But sales rose 1.3 percent last month, after a 1.1 percent October gain, the Commerce Department said. It was the healthiest advance since August. And it was more than double the increase economists had expected.
Excluding autos, retail sales rose 1.2 percent — triple the expected gain. A 6 percent surge in sales at service stations, partly reflecting higher gasoline prices, led the overall gain. But even excluding that jump, retail sales posted a solid 0.8 percent rise in November.