US retail sales decreased -0.6 % month-over-month in November -- a steeper drop than analysts’ expectations of a -0.2% dip -- as high inflation dampened consumer spending during the key holiday season.
Nine of 13 retail categories experienced a decrease in sales, including motor vehicles, electronics, furniture and building materials stores. Excluding gasoline and autos, retail sales slipped -0.2%. Sales at restaurants and bars were up +0.9% in November, the fourth-straight increase, as consumers might be shifting spending towards services from goods.
The month saw spending at nonstore retailers slip -0.9%, while one of the only categories to rise were grocery stores bolstered by higher food prices (though the pace was slower than the prior month).