Retail Trade, November 2012, published January 22

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Featured | 0 comments

Retail sales increased 0.2% in November 2012 from October to $39.4 billion and were up 1.4% from November 2011.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 0.7% from November 2011.

Retail sales in volume terms were up 0.8% from October.  Increases in month-over-month sales were reported in 4 of 11 sectors representing 32% of total retail sales.  Total retail sales for the first eleven months of 2012 were $429.4 billion, up 2.8% over the same period last year.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in November were $2.2 billion, down 1.4% from October and a 2.3% decrease from November 2011.  Total retail sales for this sector for the first eleven months of 2012 were $24.9 billion, up 0.8% over the same period last year.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales increase 1.8% from October and rise by 4.0% from November 2011.  Gasoline station sales were down 2.3% from October but increased by 0.3% from November 2011.  November’s decline in gasoline station sales followed four consecutive monthly increases and mainly reflected lower prices at the pump.

Sales at food and beverage stores were down 0.3% from October to November, after advancing for three straight months.  This decline reflected lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.4%) from a month earlier. Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores were up 1.3% from November 2011.

General merchandise stores sales decreased 0.6% from October but were 2.6% higher than in November 2011, standing at $4.9 billion.  These stores have seen their year-over-year sales increase since the beginning of last year.  “General merchandise stores” include department stores, warehouse clubs, superstores and home and auto supplies stores and account for 12% of total retail sales.  Department store sales fell 0.7% from October and were also down 0.7% from November 2011.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 3.9% from October at $1.3 billion and increased 4.2% from November 2011.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores grew 8.9% from October to $1.2 billion.  They were down 3.6% from November 2011.  A month-over-month sales decrease (-0.1%) was recorded by health and personal care stores.  Sales were up 1.9% from November 2011.