US Retail Sales Shows Weaker than Expected in November, Falling Most in 11 Months

US retail sales fell in November by the most in nearly a year, suggesting that inflation is weighing on consumers and raising concerns that the Fed’s rate hikes are driving the economy into a recession.

According to Commerce Department figures released on Thursday, the value of overall retail purchases fell 0.6% last month after climbing 1.3% in October. Excluding gas and autos, retail sales were down 0.2%. The values have not been adjusted for inflation.

A Bloomberg survey of economists predicted a 0.2% drop in overall retail sales.

The report found that nine out of thirteen types of retailers had a decrease in sales last month. Vehicle sales fell as well, owing in part to lower used car and truck prices. The value of petrol station sales declined 0.1% as pump prices fell.

Restaurant and bar sales rose 0.9% in November, marking the fourth consecutive gain in the report.

The report shows that consumer demand for products has slowed due to high inflation, as well as a shift in preferences toward services. Although Americans have been able to continue spending thanks to rising salaries and pandemic savings, they are starting to feel the pinch as the saving rate is reaching a historic low and credit card balances have increased.