Key Retail Sales Measure Jumped in November
Retail sales rose modestly in November, but a key measure posted a healthy jump as the holiday shopping season got into full swing and solid job growth buoyed spending. Sales rose 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday, slightly below the 0.3 percent expected by economists. But excluding volatile autos and gasoline, sales increased 0.5 percent. Economists expected a 0.4 percent rise. Gasoline sales fell 0.8 percent as a result of the continuing fall in prices and auto sales declined 0.4 percent.