Retail sales rose 0.3% in November, well below estimates as October’s pace was revised sharply higher, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday.
The pace was a slowdown from October, when sales rose a revised 1.8% as consumers stocked up early on Christmas gifts wary of reports of product shortages. Expectations were for a monthly gain of 0.8%.
Gains were strongest in gasoline sales and food and beverage sales. The increase marked the fourth consecutive monthly increase in sales.
“This year’s holiday season will be more expensive for consumers than 2020, perhaps 30% more as some predict, but despite that, people are still shopping and spending,” says Jonathan Silver, CEO and founder of Affinity Solutions, which tracks credit and debit card data. “That’s a good sign of a strong economy as we move into the new year.”
“Our data shows spending up 17% annually, compared to 10 to 15%