November retail sales were up 5% year-over-year as consumers opened their wallets to purchase gifts for family and friends, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
“This is a good start to the holiday season and consistent with our outlook,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s Chief Economist. “Consumer spending remains solid and clearly provides evidence that the economy is healthy as we head into 2019.”
As of November, the three-month moving average was up 4.3% over the same period a year ago. The November results build on improvement seen in October, which was up 5.6% year-over-year.
The NRF previously forecasted that holiday retail sales during November and December would increase between 4.3% and 4.8% over the same period in 2017 for a total between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion.
During November, online and other non-store sales were up 12.1% year-over-year while electronics and appliance stores were up 5% year-over-year. General merchandise stores were up 4.2% while furniture and home furnishings stores were up 2.9% year-over-year.