Christmas is coming and the stores are getting full.
US shoppers were out in force in November and signs of stabilisation in the jobs market caused consumer sentiment to improve in early December.
That new data raised hopes that a self-sustaining economic recovery is underway in the states.
The US Commerce Department said total retail sales increased 1.3 percent last month. That was the biggest rise since August.
Purchases of electronics and appliances jumped 2.8 percent, the largest increase since January.
It follows a 1.1 percent increase in sales in October.
Retail industry analysts had predicted only a 0.7 percent gain in November.
The data were the latest in a series showing the US economy may expand at a brisker pace in the fourth quarter than the 2.8 percent annual rate seen between July and September.