Retail sales up but home furnishings flat

WASHINGTON -- Easily beating Wall Street expectations of a 0.1 percent slide, retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in November, and climbed even faster, 0.5 percent, once highly volatile auto sales are pulled out of the equation, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.

Underlining the surprising strength of retail sales, October was revised sharply upward, to a gain of 0.8 percent, compared with the 0.2 percent gain the government reported earlier.

Putting downward pressure on overall sales was a 1.4 percent decline in car sales, weakening further after a 0.7 percent drop in October, as consumers put the brake on buying, waiting for lower prices late in the year.

By channel, the biggest gainer during November was building materials and garden supplies, which advanced 1.1 percent, followed by electronics and appliance stores, up 1 percent. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were flat.

Among the few losers, in addition to cars, were clothing and accessory stores and department stores, both declining 0.1 percent.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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HTT Current issue for September 2017

See the September 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Attack of the Killer Third Tier: Monster off-pricers are climbing to the top of the food chain, plus New Products: 40 pages of new products debuting at the New York Home Fashions Market; Home Stores: TJX unveils first U.S. HomeSense store; Clicks to Bricks: Boll & Branch moves from digital to physical retailing; and much more... See details!