NRF: Holiday sales on target with forecast


Shopping / Christmas / HolidayThe shortened holiday shopping season spurred consumer spending in November, as Americans took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to make holiday purchases. According to the National Retail Federation November retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year. The report is consistent with NRF’s holiday sales forecast of 3.9% growth. Electronics and appliance stores and Furniture and home furnishing stores were particularly strong in the month.

November retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.7% adjusted year-over-year.

“Consumers took advantage of a very promotional holiday season to shop at their favorite retailers during the Thanksgiving weekend,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumer confidence and sentiment are steadily improving, but spending remains at a modest pace. While it seems that the economy is improving, the future remains far from certain…It is imperative that lawmakers not repeat the same mistakes that stalled the economy earlier this fall, and work together to compromise on the short-term budget agreement now before them. While the two-year budget framework eliminates the threat of another government shutdown, more work remains in order to provide businesses and retailers the confidence and certainty they need to hire workers and make strategic investment decisions. A continuation of political wrangling that dominated much of the year could easily hinder economic growth for the remainder of 2013 and beyond.”

Other findings from the report:

•    Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.7% YOY.

•    Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.4% YOY.

•    Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 1.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.0% YOY.

•    Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 9.4% YOY.

•    General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 0.9% YOY.

•    Health and personal care stores’ sales were flat seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.5% YOY.

•    Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 2.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.5% YOY.

•    Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.5% YOY.