US Sales Stats Reveal Shock Increase in Growth

A welcome piece of good economic news came from the US Commerce Department, who revealed that retail sales in the country during December actually increased compared to November. Retail sales for last month rose by 0.5%, following on from the 0.4% rise registered in November. The markets had prepared for a more modest rise of just 0.2%.

This significant revision from the expected figures may see a longer rebound in consumer confidence become a possibility for the US. A spokesperson from FX Solutions explained how this could be possible:

“US retail sales rose stronger than expected in December, growing by 0.5% when the market had been expecting growth to slow from 0.3% in November to 0.2% last month. Incidentally November’s original sales growth of 0.3% was also upwardly revised to 0.4%”, they said.

“The US retail sales data was a positive surprise to the markets but that seemingly failed to translate into equity markets during the first half of Tuesday’s trading session.”

Retail sales are one of the main indicators of the US’s economic performance. Retail sales make up around two-thirds of the country’s total GDP, so any rise or fall in sales on a monthly basis could have big implications for the markets.

Excluding gas and auto sales, the growth in retail sales for December rose slightly higher – the figure given by the Commerce Department was 0.6%. Excluding just auto sales, the rise in retail sales for last month stood at 0.3%. Both stats suggest that motor vehicles were among the most popular goods with consumers last month.

The market consensus hinted at growth slowing down for December, but the stats confounded them. Although the figures suggest that sales growth isn’t all that great, any good news could help to boost the markets and give the retail sector more confidence coming into 2013.

Vijayraj Reddy
Vijayraj Reddy is founder & editor-in-chief of, a financial blog which helps people to earn money, invest money and save money. You can find him on Facebook & Twitter or send him email at [email protected]

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