Retail sales grew 0.7% in November, the largest increase since June, the Commerce Department reported Dec. 12.
The expansion followed a 0.6% increase in October that was larger than previously reported. On average, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a 0.6% increase in November.
Excluding cars, sales rose 0.4%. That was also higher than economists predicted.
“We’re getting a tailwind from lower gas prices, significant tailwinds from higher wealth through equities and real estate and last, but certainly not least, an acceleration in wages,” Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., told Bloomberg. “We’re going in the right direction.”
In a separate Dec. 12 report, the Labor Department said prices paid for imported goods fell 0.6% in November. Imported fuel prices dropped 3.1%, the largest decline since June 2012.
The price of U.S.-produced goods exported to other nations rose 0.1% in November, the Labor report said.