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Retail sales seen down 1.9 percent

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Retail sales fell sharply in November, said economists polled by Reuters, as the U.S. job market worsened and consumers became cautious spenders.

Retail sales fell 1.9 percent in November after a steep 2.8 percent drop in October, according to the median estimate culled from a Reuters poll of 77 economists.

Excluding autos, retail sales fell 1.8 percent in November after a 2.2 percent drop in October, according to the median estimate from a poll of 72 economists.

The data are due at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) on Friday.

The following are a sampling of forecasts and analysis on the upcoming retail sales data:

IAN SHEPHERDSON, HIGH FREQUENCY ECONOMICS, VALHALLA, NEW YORK: Forecast: Retail sales -2.5 percent

Retail sales ex-autos -3.0 percent

“Total sales should fall about 2.5 percent, with sales excluding autos down a hefty 3.0 percent, thanks to steep declines in both gasoline and core sales.”

DAVID RESLER, CHIEF ECONOMIST, NOMURA SECURITIES INTERNATIONAL, NEW YORK:

Forecast: Retail sales -1.0 percent

Retail sales excluding autos -0.8 percent

“Automotive sales fell to a new 25-year low while other retailers reported the weakest November sales in 35 years.”

MICHAEL MORAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, DAIWA SECURITIES AMERICA, NEW YORK:

Forecast: Retail sales -0.8 percent

Retail sales excluding autos -1.2 percent

“Sales of new vehicles fell in November from an already low level, which could lead to a drop in the auto component of retail sales. Slow demand is likely to reinforce soft trends in other key areas of the report, and lower prices of gasoline will probably lead to a pronounced drop in the service-station component”

Polling by Bangalore Polling Unit

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