The retail numbers were driven by strong food and beverage store sales which gained 0.7% in November, sales at electronics stores were up 0.6%. Sales at clothing stores rose 0.8%. Sales at sporting goods, book and hobby stores climbed 0.8 %. And people continued to eat out; sales at restaurants and bars rose 0.7% (marketwatch).
The consumers benefited from the falling gas prices. In November gasoline (US average price) cost around $2,20, about 30% less than a year ago (about $3) and about 40% less than in November 2013 (about $3.30 aaa.com). I reckon that the retail growth will gain speed in December, the peak of the holiday shopping season, because gasoline prices fell deeper (today to $2.01). Gas prices should become even cheaper in the coming weeks - thanks to the global oil glut (driveby) - boosting the retail sales in early 2016. Welcome back consumers!