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On the radar: Redbook weekly retail sales index pops year-over-year for first week of holiday shopping period

The Redbook weekly retail sales index popped up 7.9% for the week ended Saturday, November 30. This suggests that consumers were active leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and got out in force for Black Friday and into Saturday. Still, it is a fairly typical for the start of the holiday shopping period pull in shoppers with promotions and discounts, and then for activity to drop off. This year, some of that is going to be driven by the simple fact that large parts of the US were affected by severe weather over the weekend and into Monday. By choice or necessity, consumers went to the internet to find deals and check off items on their shopping lists. Online retailer obliged with lots of deals. In fact, many started this on Black Friday.

In any case, the strong finish to sales in November in normal and will probably be accounted for in the seasonal adjustment factors in the retail and food sales data for November at 8:30 ET on Friday, December 13. Some may not make it on to the books and won’t be fully reflected until the December report is released in January. But at the moment, it looks like consumer spending is going to be solid for the fourth quarter 2019 and will carry GDP growth for another quarter.

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