November retail sales beat expectations

The retail industry got an early Christmas present: better-than-expected November sales. The Commerce Department's monthly retail sales tally showed unexpected pockets of strength in retail, including car dealers and online sales. Store and restaurant sales were $352.1 billion, up 1.3% from October and 1.9% from November 2008. Retailers alone sold $314.1 billion of goods, 1.4% more than in October and 2.2% more than a year earlier.