The Spending Breakdown: Here’s What We Bought In November According To The Census Bureau

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Earlier this month, the Census Bureau released monthly advance estimates for retail and food item sales in November. The report itself is short but sweet and outlines the habits of the American consumer well in terms of how much they are spending and what they are spending.

let’s take a look.

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First and foremost there are advance monthly sales for each month. According to the report’s estimates, consumers spent $639.8 billion in November, up slightly from $638.2 billion in October and up 18.2% year-on-year. It’s also important to consider that consumers spent very little in September, reaching $627.5 billion.

Neil Saunders, Managing Director, to sum up consumer sentiment in November globaldata writes, “Amid the pandemic, last November was very disruptive and a large number of consumers were reluctant to shop around Black Friday; Fewer social gatherings also reduced sales of gifts and food products.”

Changes in consumer sentiment about in-person and total spending fueled November’s trends. Saunders adds, “This year, all that changed and most shoppers returned to old habits – visiting malls, buying things in preparation for gatherings, and exposing themselves to bargains and deals. The main changes were shopping and spending. In our view, it is also likely that a modest amount of December spending was dragged into November This is because the shopkeepers had already started their holiday shopping.”

According to the report, in November, consumers returned to some of their pre-pandemic shopping habits, with spending at general merchandise stores including department stores and supercenters reaching $76.468 billion, up from $71,984 in October and $65,383 in September. In that group, the department store subcategory grew to $14.019 billion, up from $11.885 billion in October and $10.765 billion in September.

Saunders writes, “Despite higher prices across the board, overall consumers are buying more. From our consumer research, it appears that buyers are postponing their concerns about household finances until next year. This, With continued gains of higher savings and increased profits, this means that retail will end the year on a high note. However, it also indicates that, in 2022, growth may slow down as the bills come in. And families want to balance their books.

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Although the report showed that consumers spent less on gasoline ($52.618 billion, down from $55.271 billion in October) and repairs of their cars ($119.642 billion, down from $125.040 in October), it also showed that households A growing enthusiasm for the goods was on display. In November (13.628 billion compared to $12.458 in October and $12.388 billion in September.) Consumers spent large amounts in November on sports, hobbies, musical instruments and bookstores ($10.221 billion, versus 8.827 billion in October). above the dollar.)

Other winning categories in November included clothing and accessories stores, where consumers spent $28.79 billion, and food services and drinking venues, in which consumers spent $69,971 billion, according to the report.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 variants and how they will impact consumer behavior going forward, it is safe to say that November was a good month for buyers. With some Black Friday and holiday spending numbers coming in, the coming weeks will certainly provide more insight into how and where consumer spending has gone. But for now, it’s a safe bet that department stores and clothiers are enjoying the surge in consumer enthusiasm, which I’ll look for when they come in.


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