Retail sales increased by 0.8% last month, the Commerce Department said. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had projected sales would climb by 0.5% in November. The large gains are welcome because consumer spending is a big engine of the economy, the Journal reports. High unemployment has kept the pace of spending modest. To spur the economy, the Federal Reserve last month unveiled a plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities.
The retail sales report showed auto and parts sales fell by 0.8% in November, after surging 5.6% during October. But excluding autos, retail sales in November rose 1.2%, topping expectations for a gain of 0.7%.
The full report from the Journal can be found HERE.