Retail sales rebounded in November and applications for jobless benefits fell more than forecast last week, pointing to strength in U.S. consumer demand as the holiday-shopping season gets under way.
Purchases climbed 0.3 percent following an October decrease of 0.3 percent, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Unemployment claims fell by 29,000 to a nine-week low of 343,000, the Labor Department said. Economists forecast 369,000 first-time claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
“We’re off to a fairly strong holiday-spending season,” said Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist for TD Securities in New York, who correctly projected the November sales gain. “Consumer spending could offset some of the weakness” in other areas such as corporate investment, he said.
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