U.S. retail sales rise in November

Washington, D.C. -- Tuesday’s report by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed a fifth straight month of sales gains in November for U.S. retailers. Monthly retail sales figures for November were up 0.8% over October and 7.7% over November 2009.

Retail sales excluding auto sales were up 1.2% over the previous month and 6.7% over November 2009.

Department stores were the big November winners, recording the biggest sales rise in two years of 2.8%.

Overall retail sales gains in November were also bolstered by strong sales among clothing retailers, as well as home improvement and sporting goods retailers, which recorded year-over-year growth of more than 12%.

“Growing consumer confidence and a successful opening to the holiday shopping season undoubtedly helped bolster store traffic and spending in November,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “The cheerfulness on display around the retail industry is not only a symptom of the holiday spirit, but an indication of optimism as consumers appear eager to get back in the game.”

On the shopping center front, the International Council of Shopping Centers also reported Tuesday that U.S. shopping center sales rose by a strong 1.0% (its strongest monthly gain since March 2010 when sales rose 1.3%).