Retail Sales Jumped in November on Strong Holiday Sales

(CN) — Retailers and restaurateurs were smiling in November as consumers went on a spending binge to kick off the holiday season.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that sales at retailers and restaurants jumped 0.8 percent in November from the previous month, after a 0.5 percent gain in October.

Online shopping dominated, raising 2.5 percent in Thursday report, the biggest fain since October 2016. Sales jumped 2.1 percent at electronics stores, the biggest gain since March,  and 1.2 percent at furniture stores.

The figures were lifted by a 2.8 percent increase in spending at gas stations —  reflective of higher prices at the pump — but sales also rose at clothing stores, sporting goods retailers, and home and garden stores.

Restaurants and bars said that sales grew 0.7 percent in November, the most since January.

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