Total U.S. retail and food services sales increased 5.6% from January a year ago to $472.1 billion, and were up 0.4%, from a preliminary December sales estimate, beating the forecast of economists polled by Reuters news service.
U.S. retail sales came in well ahead of expectations for the month of January, according to new data from the Commerce Department.
We'll have the number as it crosses, so refresh the page for updates.
All gains are good gains, but these are pretty minuscule.
January's fairly solid retail sales supported views that economic growth will accelerate in the first quarter.
Notably, retailers of medical goods & toiletries reported 9.9 per cent increase in sales year on year. December's retail sales were revised up to show a 1.0 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.6 percent advance.
The gains point to continued economic growth.
Stripping out sales of motor vehicles, retail sales went up by 0.3 per cent, the Department of Statistics said on Wednesday. That was also below the 1.4 percent gain expected by economists.
Consumer spending is being supported by a tightening labor market, which is gradually boosting wage growth.
"Sales are growing at a decent clip, but the surge in consumers' confidence since the election is yet to translate into stronger spending", said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. The unemployment rate remained low in January at 4.8 percent, as the economy grew at a 1.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter.
Strong sales results across many categories offset disappointing auto sales in January 2017.