The news: Retail sales in January rose by a seasonally adjusted 3.8% from the prior month, as people in the US bought more cars, furniture, and electronics, per the US Commerce Department’s monthly report. Sales were up 13.0% year over year (YoY).
More on this: The spending gains were evident across a number of key categories.
Spending at restaurants and bars fell about 1%, which is likely the result of the omicron variant keeping more people at home.
Inflation’s impact: Inflation played a role in the spending totals as prices rose 0.6% in January.
Looking ahead: Retail brands have differing perspectives on whether the inflationary headwinds will hinder their growth.
The takeaway: Despite inflation and the surging omicron variant, consumers continued to spend in January. That’s a clear sign that the US economy remains strong.
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