Retail and Food Sales: November Beats Analyst Expectations

shopping carts

The U.S. Census Bureau released an advance report on November’s monthly sales in the food and retail industry. The report served as a positive indicator of economic health and confidence, with a number of solid bumps in sales and services. “Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food service sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $432.3 billion,” read the report.

This constitutes a 0.7 percent increase from October’s sales, and a 4.7 percent increase from November of last year. The total sales for September, October, and November rose by 4.1 percent from the same three month combination last year.

The retail sales for November also showed growth, with a 0.6 percent rise from October 2013, and a 4.6 percent rise from November of last year. Two drivers of retail trade growth were auto/motor vehicle dealers and non-store retailers, which were up 10.9 percent from November of 2012, and 9.4 percent up from last November respectively.

On the downside,two areas of business saw a reduction in sales — according to the Census Bureau report. Gasoline stations showed a negative 0.9 percent change from the same month in 2012, and a decrease from $45.23 billion in October of this year to $44.75 billion in November. Department store sales showed the biggest drop, a 5.0 percent decrease from the same time last year. In the short term, comparing Novembers numbers to previous months in 2013, department store sales showed an increase from $14.51 billion in October to $14.56 billion in November.

According to Bloomberg, monthly sales for November beat expectations, with the median forecast of eighty-three economists looking to see a 0.6 percent rise, compared to actual 0.7 percent rise. “We’re getting a tailwind from lower gas prices, significant tailwinds from higher wealth through equities and real estate and last, but certainly not least, an acceleration in wages. We’re going in the right direction,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, to Bloomberg.

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