13326 Fri, 12/14/2007 - 5:10pm
WASHINGTON--In spite of widespread concern about the downturn in the housing market and the related tightening of credit, advance retail sales in November rose.
Compared with the previous month, the rise was minimal, but on a year-over-year basis, the increase in sales was robust.
For all retailers, excluding bars and restaurants, November sales reached $347.5 billion, a rise of 1.3 percent since October, but a healthy 6.3 percent over November 2006, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department.
Among retailer types tracked by HFN, appliance and electronics stores, and non-store retailers such as pure-play Web sites, home television shopping, kiosks and others fared the best on an annual basis. The appliance stores showed sales growing 5 percent over the year-ago period, while the non-store retailers rang up a 10.7 percent increase. Over the prior month, however, their gains, while positive, were slight.
Furniture and home furnishings stores continued their generally slow pace, rising 1 percent over the month and 1.9 percent over the year.
Department stores and mass merchants likewise showed a 1 percent increase since October, but declined almost a half percent over the year.