MERRY AGAIN: Retail Sales Blow Away Expectations

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 24: Santa Claus proceeds down 6th Av, during the 90th Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2016 in New York City. Security was tight in New York City on Thursday for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade after ISIS called supporters in the West to …
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Holiday shopping got off to a booming start in November, signaling sustained strength in the economy.

Retail sales rose 0.8 percent on a monthly basis in November, more than twice the 0.3 percent gain expected by economists, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

Data for October was revised sharply upward to 0.5 percent from the previously reported 0.2 percent rise.

Compared with the prior year, retail sales were up 5.8 percent.

The stronger than expected retail sales number increase the odds that fourth quarter gross domestic product will come in higher than expected.

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