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U.S. retail sales disappoint at end of the year

SPX News by Newsroom on 09:06 January 13, 2017 EST

Retail sales rose 0.6% last month, the government said Friday. Excluding the large auto sector that accounts for 20% of overall retail business, sales rose a disappointing 0.2% in the final month of the year. The 0.6 percent gain last month followed a revised 0.2 percent advance in November, Commerce Department figures showed Friday.

Americans flocked to auto dealerships last month to top off a record year for the industry at the expense of some other retailers, offering a mixed picture of sales during the year-end holidays.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rose 0.2 percent after being flat in November. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

Sales were up 4.1 percent from December 2015. They rose 3.3 percent for all of 2016, up from 2.3 percent in 2015.

Stocks weakened slightly after the report.



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