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Retail Sales Fall 1.8% in November
Dec 15, 2008
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U.S. retail and food-service sales last month fell 1.8% compared with October, extending the current retail slump to a record five consecutive months, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau.

That decline – to US$355.7 billion in total November sales – followed month-over-month drops of 2.9% in October, 1.3% in September, 0.4% in August and 0.1% in July. It is the longest such downward trend since the retail-sales data series began in 1992.

Total sales excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 1.6%, slowing from October’s 2.4-percent decline. And retail trade sales fell 2.0% month-over-month, after falling 3.2% the month before, although sales excluding gasoline fell only 0.2%.

But month-over-month gains were seen by retailers including electronics and appliance stores (+2.8%); sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (also +2.8%); and department stores (+2.1%); and food and beverage stores (+0.3%), the Census Bureau said. Food-service sales also rose, gaining 0.2% last month after dipping 0.4% the month before.

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