By Dirk van Dijk of Zacks.comNEW YORK ( Zachs.com) -- Retail Sales were better than expected in November, and the numbers for October were revised sharply higher. Total retail sales rose 0.8%, much better than the 0.5% consensus expectation, and are up 7.7% from a year ago. October was revised up from 1.2% growth to 1.7% growth, which makes the overall level of retail sales much better than the consensus was expecting (up 0.5%). The retail sales report is a very broad-based measure of consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up 71% of the economy, it is a very important number. That overstates things a bit, since retail sales are mostly about the sale of goods, not services, and services make up two thirds of what consumers spend.