Skip to main content

Retail sales fell 0.4% in November, widely missing expectations that they would rise slightly. It was the largest drop since a 0.5% decline in April.

But a 2.2% drop in auto sales, the largest since July 1998, accounted for much of the overall decline. Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.2%, only narrowly missing the consensus forecast among economists for a 0.3% gain. In other words, the November drop in retail sales was not broad-based. A broad-based decline would suggest that consumer spending, the economy's main engine, is slowing more markedly.

Economists polled by


Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

had forecast that retail sales would rise 0.1% overall.