Investing.com - Retail sales in the U.S. rose for the third-straight month in November, underling optimism over the health of the economy and supporting the case for more interest rate hikes next year.
Retail sales increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% last month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, easily surpassing expectations for a gain of 0.3%. Retail sales for October were revised to a gain of 0.5% from a previously reported 0.2% increase.
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, jumped by a seasonally adjusted 1.0%, compared to forecasts for a gain of 0.7%. Core sales in October rose 0.4%, whose figure was revised from a previously reported gain of 0.1%.
Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government's gross domestic product report. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 93.39, compared to 93.34 ahead of the report.
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