Commerce Department: Retail Sales Up In November

In a sign of a burgeoning economy, the US Commerce Department and Census Bureau announced today that retail and food services sales for November increased .3 percent over October and a full 3.7 percent when compared to November 2011. Likewise, sales in the period of September through November went up 4.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Total sales in the month of November—which included the Thanksgiving holiday—were $412.4 billion.

Signaling a boost from the holiday shopping season, retail sales excluding gasoline and motor vehicles increased by .7 percent during November, and spending at electronics and appliance stores alone increased 2.5 percent. Nonstore retailers—including online shopping—saw November sales increases of 3 percent. Affected by high gas prices, sales at gas stations actually fell by 4 percent, the largest decline in almost four years.

Superstorm Sandy—which struck the Northeast in late October—boosted some markets during November and put a dent in others. Retail sales in the region were down as many stores were forced to close due to power outages, flooding and damage, but other businesses saw a surge in sales as residents began to restock and rebuild.

[Image via Shutterstock]