November Retail Sales Signal Holiday Season Growth • The Toy Book

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Despite the challenges of forecasting a holiday season in a pandemic, retail sales numbers continue to show a rebound according to both the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

New data released today reflects November as having the sixth consecutive monthly year-over-year gains. The U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly retail survey indicates that November sales were softer than October, but still up 4.1% over the same period last year. NRF calculations, which use a different methodology, show an 8.8% increase.

“Consumers held back on spending in November as virus rates spiked, states imposed retail restrictions and congressional stimulus discussions were gridlocked,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While consumers have been bolstered by increases in disposable income and savings, it’s clear that additional fiscal stimulus from Congress is needed and we are hopeful it will be passed soon as we enter the final stretch of the holiday season.

Shay says that the NRF still expects a strong holiday season with gains over last year.

Industry analysts suspect that some holiday spending was pulled forward into October as consumers started shopping early to avoid holiday crowds.

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