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NRF reports growth in November sales month to month

NRF reports growth in November sales month to month

 

Washington D.C. – The National Retail Federation’s original forecast of a 1% decline in sales over the holiday period – November and December – is ringing true so far.

 

The trade association recently found that retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 0.6% seasonally adjusted from October and dipped 0.8% year over year.

 

“Unlike last year, when the economic downturn caught everyone off-guard, retailers were able to plan ahead this holiday season with an eagle eye on low inventory and aggressive discounts,” said Rosalind Wells, NRF chief economist. “Retailers are encouraged to see momentum building in sales as they prepare for the final 10 days before Christmas. Although November sales were encouraging, companies know that the holiday season is far from over and expect this year to come down to its usual photo finish.”

 

November retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 1.3% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and increased 1.8% unadjusted year over year.

 

General merchandise stores and drug stores, which have been bright spots in retail, continued to shine in November. General merchandise stores saw positive gains of 0.8% seasonally adjusted from October and increased 1.2% unadjusted from November 2008. Health and personal care store sales rose 0.3% unadjusted month-to-month and jumped 4.5% year over year.

 

NRF also noted that most categories saw month-to-month gains, “demonstrating that shoppers were gearing up for the holiday season.” For example, sales at electronics and appliance stores increased 2.8% seasonally adjusted from the previous month while decreasing 2.9 seasonally unadjusted percent year over year. Sporting goods, book, hobby and music stores also saw a slight month-to-month increase of 0.3%, though year-over-year sales dropped 1.3%.

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