Retail sales rose for the fourth straight month in November, according to new data from the US Census Bureau released on Wednesday.
However, these numbers are considered disappointing in light of October earnings and typical year-over-year sales growth in November. The growth rate of retail trade in November was 0.3 percent, which is a share of the 1.8 percent growth in October. The slowdown is attributed to a number of factors, namely the early start of the Christmas shopping season this year, rising consumer prices and ongoing concerns about the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Omicron virus.
“In November, retail sales growth slowed down significantly. I see this as a sign that Americans started their holiday shopping early rather than bad news for retailers, ”senior industry analyst Ted Rossman on bankruptcy issues said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times. “Despite the fact that in November 2021, sales grew by only 0.3 percent compared to October 2021, they were up 18.2 percent compared to November 2020. This year-over-year comparison is more important and demonstrates robust growth. ”
Indeed, retail is facing an uphill battle to sustain early fall growth. The US Labor Department said Friday that consumer prices rose 6.8 percent in the twelve months ended November, the highest rise in any twelve-month period since 1982. As inflation continues to exacerbate high consumer prices, the retail industry has to fight. against the current one in order to maintain high sales figures, as it has been in the past few months.
In addition, the continued proliferation of the Omicron variant could discourage shoppers from visiting brick-and-mortar stores, further contributing to the slowdown in sales. Omicron currently accounts for nearly 3 percent of total CCP infections, according to the CDC, and fears of infection may be causing some customers to stay home during the Christmas shopping season.
“Growth was difficult in November from the previous month – again, in part because the holiday shopping season kicked off sharply in October, but also, possibly because of concerns about inflation,” Rossman said. “[W]We are seeing some signs that inflation and supply chain problems may have held back November sales a bit, and those problems did not show up as badly in October. “