United States Consumer Spending Up 0.6%; Producer Price Index Up 0.3%

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By Jacob Maslow

US consumer spending rose steadily in November, up 0.6% for all retail sales, excluding food services, building materials, automobiles and gasoline. The producer price index rose 0.3% in November after declining 0.4% in October. The PPI has declined 1.1% year-on-year through November.

Initial data for December shows that consumer sentiment is up on the month after slowing the past few months. The consumer sentiment index rose from 91.3 in November, up to 91.8 in early December. Barclays (BARC) increased the Q4 growth estimate up to 1.8%. In Q3, the economy grew 2.1%.

Retail inventories increased in October 0.4% excluding automobiles.

Overall retail sales in the United States rose 0.2% in November, but automobile sales fell. Retail sales increased 0.1% in October, and cheaper gasoline prices are also adding to consumer spending. Automobile sales slipped 0.4% in November, marking the largest decline in sales since June. Despite strong sales figures in November, the amount of automobiles sold fell slightly below October numbers.

Clothing store sales jumped 0.8% on the month, and online retailers also experienced a 0.6% increase in sales. Sports goods and hobby stores reported a 0.8% growth, while electronics and appliance outlets were up 0.6%. Discretionary spending is up, but receipts for garden equipment and building materials are down 0.3%.

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