U.S. retail sales rose by 5.3% in January from December 2020, following three months of decline. Last month saw the highest gain since June, when retail spending began to increase following pandemic closures.
- A senior economist at Morgan Stanley suggested that spending was boosted by the recent $900B stimulus package, which included $600 checks for each adult and dependant.
- Consumer spending accounted for more than 66% of total U.S. economic output last month, increasing across various categories such as home improvement and restaurants. Sales of electronics and home appliances rose by 14.7%, while restaurants and bars saw a 6.9% increase.
- Online shopping in January increased by 28.7%, and sporting goods increased by 22.5%.
- However, sales in restaurants and bars were down 16%, and clothing & accessories were down 11%, compared to the same period last year. Electronics performed relatively better with only a 3.5% decrease.