A sudden drop in US retail sales in November… and a drop in jobless claims

US retail sales fell more-than-expected in November after rising in the previous month, while job opportunities remained lower than they were looking for and the number of jobless claims fell last week.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales fell 0.6% last month. October data, which showed sales in acceleration of 1.3%, have not been revised.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to fall by just 0.1%.

Retail sales mainly refer to raw materials prime and are not adjusted for inflation. Last month’s drop in sales indicated that holiday shopping has arrived in early October.

A separate Labor Department report on Thursday showed first-time jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 211,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ending Dec. 10.

Economists had predicted that 230,000 applications would be registered.

Claims remained below the 270,000 level, which economists said would have been a warning to the labor market, despite a wave of layoffs in the tech sector.

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