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retail sales
Economy

First half of holiday season shows solid growth in sales

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The first half of the holiday season is officially under wraps and it appears holiday shoppers in November were out in full force, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest retail sales data. While on the surface trends may appear softer than expected, according to NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz the rise in November retail sales is actually very much in line with the events shaping the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Sales in November excluding autos, gas and restaurants increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 3.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year. 

“The growth in November really does point to a healthy consumer who at the end of the day will help retailers see solid growth, despite the economic and environmental challenges.”
Jack Kleinhenz
NRF Chief Economist

“Consumers right now are getting great value for significantly less this holiday season given the deflationary environment that continues to impact overall trends in spending,” said Kleinhenz. “Additionally, the broadening of the holiday season, warmer than normal weather patterns and a shift in spending toward services remain the top challenges for retailers right now.”

“All in all, the growth in November really does point to a healthy consumer who at the end of the day will help retailers see solid growth, despite the economic and environmental challenges. Retailers are well-prepared for these challenges and are keen to continue to offer their shoppers a worth-while holiday shopping experience,” continued Kleinhenz.

Sales in November according to the U.S. Commerce Department increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over October and 1.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Spending across the board show varied spending by holiday shoppers:

  • Online and other non-store sales increased 0.6 seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 10.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at clothing and accessories stores increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted over October and decreased 1.6 percent unadjusted over last year.
  • Sales at general merchandise stores increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 1.4 percent year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliances stores’ sales increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and decreased 1.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores’ sales decreased 0.3 percent over the previous month and increased 4.9 percent unadjusted over last year.
  • Sporting goods stores’ sales increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.  

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