December 11, 2023

CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor Shows Strong Retail Sales Gain for First Half of Holiday Season

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2023 – The holiday shopping season got off to a good start in November as retail sales showed strong gains, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, powered by Affinity Solutions, released today by the National Retail Federation. Click here to access November retail data.

“November Retail Monitor data shows that consumers are embracing the holiday season and promotions being offered by retailers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Value conscious shoppers are out looking for deals as they purchase gifts for family and friends, and this data indicates that they’re finding them. Since November makes up half the holiday season, these numbers are a positive indication of what we can expect for the full holiday season.” 

Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were up 0.77% seasonally adjusted month over month and up 4.24% unadjusted year over year in November, according to the Retail Monitor. That compared with a month-over-month decrease of 0.08% and a year-over-year increase of 2.57% in October.

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales – excluding restaurants in addition to autos and gas – showed increases of 0.73% month over month and 4.17% year over year in November. That compared with a month-over-month decrease of 0.03% and a year-over-year increase of 2.63% in October.

The results come as NRF is predicting that holiday retail sales from November 1 through December 31 – excluding autos, gas and restaurants – will increase between 3% and 4% over 2022 to a record total of between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.

This is the second month that the Retail Monitor, which was launched in November, has provided the retail industry with data on monthly retail sales. Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.

November sales were up in seven out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and sporting goods/hobby/music/book stores, and up in all but two categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include: 

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 0.8% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 26.27% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Health and personal care stores were up 1.6% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 9.15% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were up 1% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 8.25% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.87% month over month and up 5.81% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 0.84% month over month and up 3.19% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 0.1% month over month seasonally adjusted and also up 0.1% year over year unadjusted. 
  • General merchandise stores were up 1.03% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 0.61% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Building and garden supply stores were down 1.16% month over month and down 0.06% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.04% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 2.08% year over year unadjusted. 

To learn more, visit

As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF provides data on retail sales each month and also forecasts annual retail sales and spending for key periods such as the holiday season each year.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

About CNBC
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than half a billion people per month across all platforms. The network’s 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About Affinity Solutions
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a comprehensive view of U.S. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into actionable insights for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive market share and revenue growth. Affinity powers Comet™, a powerful data-led intelligence platform that enables marketers to effortlessly plan, activate, and measure media to purchase-based outcomes. To learn more about Affinity Solutions visit



NRF: J. Craig Shearman |

CNBC: Melissa Castro |

Affinity Solutions: Stephanie Geno |

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