Consumer spending fell in November, with US retail sales declining by 0.6%, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

It was the sharpest monthly decline seen all year.

But there may be some good in the news in terms of inflation and interest rates.

“After making seasonal adjustments, the US Census reported retail sales in November were down 0.6% from October.  One cause may be that consumers fast-forwarded their holiday shopping to October from November,” says NCSU economist Dr. Mike Walden.

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” Although the seasonal adjustments are meant to handle this, they may not be capturing  changes due to Covid. But another interpretation is consumer spending is slowing – exactly what the Federal Reserve wants!”

Economists had expected monthly sales to shrink by 0.1%, down from October’s 1.3% increase, according to consensus estimates on Refinitiv.

Retail sales, which are not adjusted for inflation, were up 6.5% in November from the year before, according to the report.

The news came a day after the Fed increased its key interest rate on Wednesday, but at a lower level than in previous months.

Federal Reserve raises rates a half-point, still ‘historic’