The Strategist

US retail sales in January post strongest growth in two years

02/16/2023 - 02:31

The largest monthly growth in retail sales in the US since March 2021 occurred in January, when it increased by 3% over the previous month, reports the US Department of Commerce.

Chris Ford
Chris Ford
Reuters polled analysts, and they expected 1.8% growth. Retail sales grew by 6.4% in January 2021 compared to the previous month.

Prior to that, the number had been falling for two straight months as consumers cut down on spending in the face of rising prices, a rising key rate, and a difficult macroeconomic climate. For instance, in December, sales fell 1.1%.

Lou Crandall, senior economist at research firm Wrightson ICAP, said, "Consumption is ultimately not as bad as the December data showed, but also not as high as the January statistics would suggest."

Sales at cafes and restaurants increased the most in January compared to December, up 7.2%. Furniture and home goods sales rose 4.4%, electronics and appliances up 3.5%, and sales of automobiles and auto components rose 5.9%.