U.S retail sales jumped 5.3% in January as consumers flocked to spend their stimulus checks, according to the Census Bureau press release. The retail sales were higher than expected rise of 1.2%.
- Excluding autos, sales rose 5.9%, beating an estimate of 1%
- The surge in consumer spending come when expectations for growth in the early part of 2021 were muted as the economy continued to suffer from the pandemic-induced slowdown.
- Spending gains were broad-based as every major category showed increases.
- Electronics and appliances recorded the biggest increase at 14.7%, while furniture and home furnishing stores gained 12%.
- Online spending at non-store retailers rose 11%, while food and drinking places, which suffered the most during the pandemic, recorded a 6.9% increase.
- Online shopping was the biggest gainer since January 2020, up 28.7%, while building materials rose 19%, and sporting goods up 22.5%.
- Inflationary pressures are seen as a major concern for the recovery due to the ongoing stimulus checks.
- The producer price index, which measures prices that domestic producers receive for the goods, rose 1.3%, the higher since December 2009.
- Analysts expect the economy to pick later in the year as vaccination efforts spread and Covid-19 impacts fade.
U.S stocks are currently declining as the dollar gains. SPY is down 0.33%, QQQ is down 0.95%, EURUSD is down 0.52%