U.S. consumers went on a shopping binge last month, led by big gains among online retailers, electronics stores and furniture stores.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that sales at retailers and restaurants jumped 0.8 percent in November from the previous month, after a 0.5 percent gain in October. Consumers’ willingness to splurge should give the economy a boost in the final quarter of the year.
A category that mostly includes online shopping rose 2.5 percent in a sign of the continuing dominance of e-commerce. Sales increased 2.1 percent at electronics stores and 1.2 percent at furniture stores.
The figures were lifted by a large increase in spending at gas stations, which mostly reflected price increases. But sales also rose at clothing stores, sporting-goods retailers, and home and garden stores.
— Associated Press
Amazon.com said Thursday that it will start selling Google Chromecast devices again, extending an olive branch after the Internet giants clashed over availability of their products on each other’s services.
An Amazon spokeswoman said the standard Google Chromecast video streaming stick, along with the Ultra model — which can stream 4K video — will return to Amazon’s online store.
Amazon began promoting Chromecasts on its website, though they were listed as “currently unavailable” on Thursday afternoon. Amazon also said it would begin selling both Apple TV models, the 2015 model as well as the recent 4K version. Amazon stopped selling Apple TV and Chromecast devices two years ago. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
The world’s largest online retailer reversed course after Google recently blocked YouTube viewing on the Fire TV and Echo Show, two Amazon devices that have popular features for watching video.
When it pulled YouTube, Alphabet’s Google cited the removal of the Chromecast from Amazon’s website as the reason. It also said Amazon wasn’t selling Google Home connected speakers, had stopped selling some Nest devices and hadn’t made the Amazon Prime Video streaming service available on Chromecasts.
Access to YouTube on the Echo Show speaker, which has a screen, was blocked Dec. 5. Google has said it planned to end YouTube support for the Fire TV set-top-box Jan. 1. It’s unclear if Amazon’s announcement will push Google to resume YouTube support on Amazon’s devices.
— Bloomberg News
Kellogg opened a new store in New York on Thursday that it hopes will become a hangout spot for young people who are willing to buy cereal by the bowl and then lounge on a beanbag chair. Cafe visitors pay up to $7.50 for a bowl of Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes or other cereal that can be topped with candied cashews and about 30 other ingredients. The 5,000-square-foot store in Union Square also will sell Pop-Tarts, coffee and other drinks. Kellogg’s first store in New York closed this summer, a year after it opened.
Delta Air Lines said it is ordering 100 Airbus jets valued at more than $12.7 billion with an option for 100 more, a deal that Boeing had hoped to land. Financial terms of the order of A321neo jets were not disclosed, so it isn’t known how much Delta will pay Airbus. Airlines typically get huge discounts off the sticker price of new planes. The A321 is a single-aisle, midrange plane that competes with Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 last week, to 225,000, the lowest in nearly two months and another sign that U.S. workers are enjoying job security. The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average also fell by 6,750, to 234,750. Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have been below 300,000 a week for nearly three years, the longest stretch in more than four decades.
— From news reports
9:15 a.m.: Federal Reserve releases industrial production for November.
4 p.m.: Treasury releases international money flows data for October.