Holiday shopping, along with strong consumer confidence, are propelling the economy. But will it last? Seems that unemployment rates have remained low and the Fed is positioned to raise interest rates to slow the growth and reduce the chances of inflation. We may need to wait into the first quarter of 2016 to see if the surge in retail sales continues…or if it’s just a holiday cycle.
According to our friends at The Private Bank, there are many positive statistics. Retail sales posted the biggest gain in four months. Consumer spending rose solidly in November, indicating that the holiday shopping season got off to a brisk start. The Commerce Department said that retail sales rose a seasonally-adjusted .2% in November after a .1% gain in the previous month. Excluding purchases of autos and gas, retail purchases climbed .5%--the biggest advance since July. Eight of the 13 major retail categories showed increases last month, led by internet retailers, general merchandise stores, apparel shops, and sport-goods merchants. Falling gas prices weighed on receipts at gas stations as the price of regular gasoline fell 6.7% last month.
Stay tuned to see if the momentum can build in to 2016. Read more about the services Schneider Downs offers the retail industry on our Retail Industry Group webpage.
Source: The Private Bank