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Retail Sales Grew in November, Easing Economic Fears

Despite low gas prices offsetting a strong holiday shopping season, U.S. retail sales beat expectations and increased by 0.2 percent last month.

(CN) – Despite low gas prices offsetting a strong holiday shopping season, U.S. retail sales beat expectations and increased by 0.2 percent last month.  

FILE- In this Nov. 23, 2018, file photo a shopper walks through Dolphin Mall while shopping on Black Friday in Miami. On Friday, Dec. 14, the Commerce Department releases U.S. retail sales data for November. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

November’s sales figures topped predictions by economists that the value of overall sales would increase by just 0.1 percent, easing fears of a significant economic slowdown.

A Commerce Department report released Friday shows retail sales have grown by 5.3 percent so far this year.

Gas prices have dropped sharply since October, averaging $2.41 per gallon this week. Overall retail sales were hindered by a 2.3 percent drop in gas sales last month.

Not counting gasoline, November retail sales grew by a strong 0.5 percent.

October retail gains were revised upward from 0.8 to 1.1 percent, indicating a stronger fourth-quarter start than initially expected.

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