Shoppers slow down

@CNNMoney December 13, 2011: 9:36 AM ET
Retail sales fall short

Retail sales fall short.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Consumers slowed the pace of their shopping in November, but that might not bode ill for the entire holiday season.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that retail sales were up 0.2% compared to October. The result was well short of the 0.6% increase forecast by economists surveyed by, and the 0.6% gain posted in October.

On an annual basis, sales were up 6.7%, below the 7.5% pace the month before.

The story was similar when auto sales were excluded. Those sales increased by only 0.2%, well off the 0.5% forecast.

While the numbers might have disappointed forecasters, any concern about the holiday season was tempered by the fact that November came on the heels of two months of big sales increases.

With that in mind, Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo, says holiday sales are still on track for a strong season.

"The level of sales is still extremely, extremely strong," Vitner said. "The categories that matter most for holiday shopping were all up solidly."

One of those categories -- electronics and appliance store sales -- increased by 2.1% over the previous month. But enthusiasm about the sector was countered by a separate report showed Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) earnings declined in the latest quarter.

Clothing retailers saw their sales bump up by 0.5%

"I think we are still on track for a pretty decent holiday shopping season," Vitner said.

Late in the month, Black Friday shoppers showed up in droves and spent a record amount of money over the Thanksgiving weekend -- but that doesn't mean holiday sales momentum will continue through Christmas.

Typically, sales over Black Friday weekend comprise 10% of total holiday sales. That means there is a long way to go before the season can be declared a success -- or failure.

Food and beverage stores were among the worst performers in November, registering a 0.2% decline from October.  To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.