November Retail Sales Beat Modest Expectations Despite Another Decline In Clothing Sales

There was much concern that heading into the holiday season the US consumer would hunker down, which is why the just released retail sales came as a bit of good news: the headline and core (ex-autos) numbers both beat expectations of 0.6% and 0.2%, printing at 0.7% and 0.4% respectively, and refuting rumors of a big consumer slowdown into the holiday season. On the other hand, core retail sales, ex-autos, showed a declining growth rate, following the 0.5% increase in October, declining to 0.4% in the past month, while the ex-autos and gas number remained flat from October to November, or 0.6%. It is unclear if this number is good enough to send futures sliding on the back of the horrible claims report which has so far managed to push futures into green territory, but with the bulk of the monthly change contained in the seasonal adjustment, any 0.1% increments of change or beats of expectations are very much noise.

Looking at the strong sectors, aside from autos which posted a 1.8% increase in October, there was strength in Building materials and garden supplies dealers, whose sales also rose by 1.8%, while non-store retailers’ increase of 2.2% was the largest jump since July 2012. Also good news for electronics stores: their sales increased by 1.1%, as did furniture and home furnishing stores, rising by 1.2%. The last place where sales posted a notable increase: food and drinking places, whose sales rose 1.3%. The bad news: all the clothing retailers, whose margins are already imploding: they saw November sales decline by -0.2% from the prior month. Hardly good news for an industry that has been battered in the past few months.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

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