Americans spent more on cars, electronics and building supplies in November and shopped more frequently online.

Today's data suggests the economy is rebounding from disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The US Commerce Department said today that retail sales rose 0.3% in November, offsetting a 0.3% decline in October.

Excluding petrol station sales, retail sales increased 0.8%. The drop in petrol station sales reflected lower prices.

The gains were widespread except at department stores, where sales dropped - a troubling development at the start of Christmas shopping.

But sales at non-store retailers, which include online shopping, rose 3% - the biggest monthly gain in 13 months.

Cheaper petrol drives down US wholesale prices

Cheaper petrol drove down a measure of US wholesale prices in November for the second month in a row, a sign that inflation remains in check.

The Labor Department said the producer price index fell 0.8% last month, the steepest drop since May. That follows a 0.2% decline in October.

The index measures the cost of goods before they reach the consumer.

Petrol prices fell last month by the most in more than three years.

But food prices rose by the most in nearly two years, pushed higher by more expensive beef and vegetables.

In the past year, US wholesale prices have increased 1.5% - the lowest annual pace in four months. Excluding volatile food and petrol, core producer prices ticked up 0.1% in November and 2.2% in the past year.

But food prices rose by the most in nearly two years, pushed higher by more expensive beef and vegetables.

In the past year, US wholesale prices have increased 1.5% - the lowest annual pace in four months. Excluding volatile food and petrol, core producer prices ticked up 0.1% in November and 2.2% in the past year.