Retail sales surge 5.3% in January
Retail sales jumped 5.3% last month — blowing past the 1.2% increase anticipated by economists, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
Why it matters: It’s the first month-over-month increase in shopping figures since September — with consumers getting a boost from the most recent pandemic relief package.
By the numbers: The $568 billion spent across retailers last month is 7.4% higher than this time last year, before the pandemic hit.
- Retail sales initially surpassed pre-pandemic levels last year, as consumers opened their wallets after the shock of the coronavirus and early relief measures took effect.