Retail Sales Improved...Except for Gas Stations

Retail sales increased a slight two-tenths of a percent in November, as strong sales tied to holiday shopping were offset by lower gasoline prices. 

The US Commerce Department says excluding gas, November retail sales rose a healthy one-half percent and have climbed a solid 5.3% for the year. 

In November, non-store retail sales - a category that includes internet brands such as Amazon - jumped 2.3%. 

Furnishers, electronics stores and health stores also enjoyed a solid bump as the holiday shopping season got into full swing.  

But gas stations saw a 2.3% drop in purchases last month.

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