December 24, 2019 – Retail sales (excluding auto sales) growth remained modest at 3.0 percent in November, up slightly from October’s 2.8 percent year-over-year (YoY) increase. Retail sales increased in eight of 13 industries last month. The control group* within retail sales—which feeds into the GDP calculation—rose just 0.1 percent month-over-month (MoM) in November, suggesting that real consumer spending is showing signs of moderating in Q4.
Stronger wage and salary growth for the month helped support growth in nominal personal disposable income, rising 4.1 percent YoY. This was a slightly slower pace than in October. The saving rate edged a bit lower to 7.8 percent, down from September’s 8.1 percent reading, suggesting a bit less caution among consumers.
November’s data on the consumer sector continued to point towards positive consumer spending momentum to end the year. Strong job and wage growth along with solid retail sales indicate that consumers remain optimistic enough to propel the economy forward through additional spending. — Michael Brown, Principal U.S. Economist at Visa
Job growth rebounded stronger than expected in November, which helped to keep consumer confidence elevated for the month. Modest inflation rates are also helping to support consumer spending growth. — Travis Clark, U.S. Assoc. Economist at Visa