The monthly Retail Sales Report was out on Thursday for November and it rose by twice the estimated amount at .8% from .5% the month before; if you remove the volatile auto sales it rose 1%. This was a very good number as retailers got a big boost from Black Friday sales. There was a surge of 2.5% in sales online which was much bigger than expected.
The struggle between big box stores and Amazon is helping the consumer significantly. For instance, the cost of clothes fell in November by the most in 20 years. It also helps that employment levels are high. Solid job and salary increases, record levels of household net worth and sentiment all bodes well for a strong Christmas sales season and the future economy.