U.S. Retail Sales Edge Up In January, But December Is Revised Sharply Lower

by MR Magazine Staff

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in January, lifted by an increase in purchases of building materials and discretionary spending, but receipts in December were much weaker than initially thought. The report from the Commerce Department on Monday is welcome news for the economy after a raft of weak December data, as well as a sharp moderation in the pace of job growth in February. Still, the relatively strong retail sales report will probably not change expectations for sharp slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent. Data for December was revised down to show retail sales dropping 1.6 percent instead of tumbling 1.2 percent as previously reported. The drop in December was the biggest since September 2009 when the economy was emerging from recession. Read more at CNBC.