Retail sales jumped a much higher-than-expected 1.3% in November, according to Commerce Department data released Friday.
Excluding the 1.6% rise in auto sales, sales rose 1.2%, the fastest since January.
It was the strongest sales report since August, which clocked a 2.4% increase. The gains were across the board, as only clothing and furniture sales dropped.
Meanwhile, China's economy continued to accelerate in November to its fastest rate this year, official data showed Friday.
Industrial output surged 19.2% from the year-ago period and collectively expanded by 22.2%.
The November growth in industrial output beat a 16.1% improvement a month earlier.
Lastly, the U.S. labor market could look very different once it gets back on its feet.
More than two million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost in the recession and they are unlikely to return. Instead, nurses, biomedical engineers, waiters and security guards will fare better in coming years, according to a new Labor Department report.
While the projections show employment in construction will rise by 1.3 million, that will be outweighed by the continued drop in manufacturing and mining jobs. "Goods-producing employment, as a whole, is expected to show virtually no growth" in total jobs, according to the report.
By 2018, the sector will account for 12.9% of jobs, down from 14.2% in 2008.