by MR Magazine Staff

GiftsThe first half of the holiday season is officially under wraps and it appears holiday shoppers in November were out in full force, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest retail sales data. While on the surface trends may appear softer than expected, according to NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, the rise in November retail sales is actually very much in line with the events shaping the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Sales in November, excluding autos, gas and restaurants, increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 3.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Consumers right now are getting great value for significantly less this holiday season given the deflationary environment that continues to impact overall trends in spending,” said Kleinhenz. “Additionally, the broadening of the holiday season, warmer than normal weather patterns and a shift in spending toward services remain the top challenges for retailers right now.”

Added Kleinhenz: “All in all, the growth in November really does point to a healthy consumer who at the end of the day will help retailers see solid growth, despite the economic and environmental challenges. Retailers are well-prepared for these challenges and are keen to continue to offer their shoppers a worth-while holiday shopping experience.”