Speed Reads

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Retail sales increased for the fourth consecutive month in November

Retail sales rose a lukewarm and modest 0.3 percent in the month of November, as consumers began their holiday spending but at a slower rate than before given the inflation plaguing the country, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sales were also up 18.2 percent last month from a year earlier, "showing low unemployment, rising wages and savings from stimulus payments are giving Americans the capacity to spend more this year," even when rising prices are taken into account.

"Clearly consumer demand is really strong and, at least up to now, can tolerate some of the price movements we've seen," Alexander Lin, an economist at Bank of America told the Journal.

November was the fourth straight month to see such a sales increase, albeit modest. The jump followed a 1.8 percent rise in spending in October, showing that "consumer demand was strong even before Thanksgiving, which has long been considered the start of the holiday shopping season," writes The New York Times.

Though the Novermber numbers did come in below forecasts, sales in December are still expected to rise, as well.

"We saw consumers start to pantry load and think about their holiday shopping earlier than we've ever seen it," Kathy Gramling, a consumer industry markets consultant for EY told the Times before the November numbers were released. "The great reset for retail will really be sprung in January, where we'll see a tremendous amount of retail regret and we will see a push of returns."