January Retail Spend Surges 5.3% - Tops Forecasts

February 17, 2021

The U.S. Census Bureau made advanced estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January 2021:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $568.2 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent (0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 7.4 percent (0.7 percent) above January 2020. 

Wall street was expecting a rise of just 1.2%.

Total sales for the November 2020 through January 2021 period were up 4.6 percent (0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The November 2020 to December 2020 percent change was revised from down 0.7 percent (0.5 percent) to down 1.0 percent (0.3 percent).

Retail trade sales were up 5.1 percent (0.5 percent) from December 2020, and 10.8 percent (0.7 percent) above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 28.7 percent (1.8 percent) from January 2020, while sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, and book stores were up 22.5 percent (4.0 percent) from last year.

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