Commerce Department: November Sales Down

Retail sales fell 1.8 percent in November, the record fifth straight month of declines since the Commerce Department started tracking statistics in 1992.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $355.7 billion, a decrease of 1.8 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month and 7.4 percent (±0.7%) below November 2007. Total sales for the September through November 2008 period were down 4.5 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The September to October 2008 percent change was revised from -2.8 percent (±0.5%) to -2.9 percent (±0.2%).

Retail trade sales were down 2.0 percent (±0.5%) from October 2008 and were 8.5 percent (±0.7%) below last year. Motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 25.2 percent (±2.3%) from November 2007 and gasoline stations sales were down 22.0 percent (±1.7%) from last year.

Bloomberg has more.

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