Nov Retail Sales were below expectations at the headline level, and also taking out auto’s and gasoline. All three rose .2% m/o/m, less than the estimates of +.4-.6%. Sales rose for auto’s, furniture, electronics, clothing, sporting goods, department stores and online retailers but fell at restaurant/bars, building materials, food/beverages and health/personal care. Bottom line, while weaker than expected, the y/o/y gain is still 6.2% ex gasoline station sales and to fully capture the holiday’s, we of course need to see Dec sales too. Either way, while the US economy has hung in pretty well of late, the real test comes in early 2012 as the European recession fully takes hold.
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