NORMAN — U.S. consumers ignored the superstorm Sandy’s aftermath and a potential “fiscal cliff” and proceeded to shop for the holidays last month.
Economists said a steady job market and lower gas prices boosted retail sales 0.3 percent in November from October. That compares to a decline from September to October.
While gasoline prices were dropping, layoffs were fewer and applications for jobless benefits declined. It also shows consumers have yet to panic over the “fiscal cliff” combination of tax increases and spending cuts.
Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the U.S. economy and retailers count on the fourth quarter to make up for year-round sluggish sales numbers.