Holiday Spending Still with Much to Prove
With the holiday season upon us, spending is ramping up; however, retail spending did not hit predicted marks. According to the Census Bureau, retail and food services sales increased 0.2% in November and are 3.3% ahead of November 2018. Economists expected retail sales to increase by 0.5% in November, according to Reuters.
Despite this, NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., said the retail season is in full swing, and the numbers have been better than expected in the November Credit Managers' Index report. "Retail sales have been up in general although there has been somewhat less interest in the high-dollar items that drove holiday sales in past years."
There's about a week less for holiday shopping this year due to a late Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday was in December this year so it was not part of the Census Bureau's data. October's increase was also revised upward to 0.4% from 0.3%, all impacting November's data. Sales were up 3.5% from September 2019 to November 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.