Retail sales rise above expectations in January

As reported on

Retail sales in January rose 5.9% from December and 10.7% year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation, whose calculation excludes auto dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. That compared with a decrease of 2.2%  month-over-month in December.

The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales (including restaurants/bars and auto) in January were up 5.3%  from December. That compares with a monthly drop of 1% in December. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected January sales to rise 1.1%.

The gains in January build on the momentum of the November-December holiday season, when retail sales as calculated by NRF rose 8% year-over-year to a record $787.1 billion even after being revised down from a preliminary estimate of $789.4 billion. For the full year, 2020 was up 6.7% over 2019.

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