Retail Sales Grew in November, Easing Economic Fears

(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.  

(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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