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HomeNewsEconomyRetail Sales Beat Expectations in January, Despite Savings Rate

Retail Sales Beat Expectations in January, Despite Savings Rate


Shopper at a mall impacting consumer data and retail sales reporting. (Photo: Reuters)

The Commerce Department reported on Friday that U.S. retail sales in January topped expectations, despite earlier reports on the savings rate. American consumers increased spending at retail stores and restaurants by 0.2% amid lower gasoline prices.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.1% increase in January, but retail sales rose to an adjusted $449.9 billion compared with a 3.4% gain a year earlier. The latest retail sales report reflects an upward revision from an initially reported 0.1% drop, fueled by broad-based spending.

Excluding motor vehicles, sales were up 0.1% in January, and excluding gasoline, sales were up 0.4% from December. Excluding both, sales were up 0.4% last month.

Consumer spending represents more than two-thirds of economic output, making the retail sales report an optimistic indicator after gross domestic product clocked in at just 0.7% in the fourth quarter.

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PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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