January Retail Sales Yield Surprising Results


Retails sales in America rose at a higher rate than expected in January.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday that retail sales increased 0.4 % from December of 2016, instead of the 0.1 percent that was predicted.

According to CNBC, “Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales ticking up 0.1 percent and core sales gaining 0.3 percent last month.”

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Economists feel the core of the retail sales increase is a sign that economic growth will accelerate in the first quarter, with consumer spending supported by a tightening labor market that should gradually boost wage growth.

Sales at electronics and appliances stores jumped 1.6 percent, the biggest rise since June 2015, after falling 1.1 percent in December. Sales at building material stores increased 0.3 percent.

Clothing store sales went up 1.0 percent, with department store sales up 1.2 percent.

Sales at online retailers remained the same as the previous month, after skyrocketing 1.9 percent in December, and restaurants and bar business rose 1.4 percent.

One of the highest increases reported was at sporting goods and hobby stores, which showed a healthy 1.8 % increase.

The only retailers to take a hit in January were auto dealerships, which reported a downturn of 1.4 percent from the previous month.

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