• U.S. retail sales grow below expectations in November

    Source: FxWire Pro - Commentary / 13 Dec 2019 17:24:23   Europe/London

    U.S. retail sales grew in November, but came in below consensus expectations. Sales rose 0.2 percent, as compared with expectations of a rise of 0.5 percent. On the other hand, data for October was upwardly revised to 0.4 percent.

    Sales in the retail sales “control group” which excludes more volatile components came in weak at 0.1 percent. Autos & parts dealers had a good month, rising 0.5 percent, after an upwardly revised 1 percent gain in October. Gas stations also rose strongly by 0.7 percent. These gains were tempered by falls in several categories including health and personal care, clothing, department stores and sporting goods, among others.

    Non-store retailers continued to outperform bricks and mortar, rising 0.8 percent on the month. Non-store retailors now make up 12.9 percent of overall retail sales, up almost one percentage point from a year ago.

    “Retail sales growth slowed in November, but not enough to put the fourth quarter's consumer spending profile at risk. Spending on services has been buoyant and should continue to give support to growth. Overall, we expect personal consumption expenditure to grow by between 2 percent and 2.5 percent annualized in Q4, enough for real GDP growth close to come in close to the 2 percent mark”, said TD Economics in a research report.

    A China-U.S. trade deal that avoids tariffs on consumer goods should come as a welcome relief to U.S. retailers. This should allow still-strong consumer fundamentals – healthy job and income growth and easy financial conditions – to continue to drive healthy spending over the next year.

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