December 15, 2021
Today the U.S. Census Bureau released preliminary estimates of nationwide retail sales in November 2021 and revised estimates for October 2021. (The data include both brick-and-mortar and Internet sales.)
Retail Sales Remain Elevated. Seasonally adjusted U.S. retail sales grew 0.3 percent from October to November. Retail sales have been elevated throughout 2021 following dramatic growth in January and March. Cumulative twelve-month growth in sales from November 2020 to November 2021 was 18 percent.
Inflation-Adjusted Sales Declined in November. Across all goods and services purchased by consumers, seasonally adjusted U.S. prices grew 0.8 percent from October to November. Prices for tangible goods—especially gasoline—grew faster than the 0.8 percent headline inflation number. This inflation rate was substantially higher than the growth rate for retail sales, indicating that inflation-adjusted sales declined.