Retail and Food Services Up in December, Another Sign of Recovery

Retail sales were flat in August

The Department of Commerce released numbers today showing U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2011 rose 0.1% from November to $400.6 billion. Sales were also 6.5% above December 2010.

Total sales for the 12 months of 2011 were up 7.7% from 2010. Total sales for the October through December 2011 period were up 7.0% from the same period a year ago.

The October to November 2011 percent change was revised upwards from +0.2% to +0.4%. Retail trade sales were virtually unchanged from November 2011 and 6.3% above last year.

Nonstore retailers sales were up 10.6% from December 2010 and gasoline stations sales were up 8.9% from last year.

Coming on the heels of strong numbers in employment, construction and manufacturing, these numbers give yet another signal of an economy begin to gather steam and expand.