January Retail Sales Reflect Very Strong Start For Consumers, Retailers: NRF

Retail sales recorded a sharp growth in January as government stimulus checks provided a boost and momentum from 2020’s record holiday season carried over into the new year, the National Retail Federation said.

The retail Sales jumped 5.3% in January, far higher than Wall Street analysts expectations. That compares with a monthly drop of 1 percent but a yearly gain of 2.5 percent in December.

“January’s retail sales numbers reflect a very strong start for consumers and retailers as we look ahead to a critical year curbing the global pandemic and strengthening our economic recovery,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

“Consumers and the economy as a whole remain in good shape despite unprecedented adversity over the past year, and congressional action has been a lifeline for households and businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We’ve convened retail leaders and communicated directly with the White House that it is critically important for the government to work with retailers to get the vaccine into communities and administered as quickly and as safely as possible,” Shay added.

The spike in sales must be driven by the latest round of stimulus checks along with some slowdown in COVID-19 outbreaks and the increased distribution of vaccines, which helped customers to return to stores and restaurants last month.

Online and other non-store sales were up 11 percent month-over-month.

Electronics and appliance stores sales increased 14.7% from December, while
sporting goods stores were up 8%. Grocery and beverage stores were up 2.4%, while furniture and home furnishings stores were up 12 percent.

January’s gains build on momentum seen during the November-December holiday season, when retail sales as calculated by NRF grew 8 percent year-over-year to a record $787.1 billion even after being revised down from a preliminary estimate of $789.4 billion. For the full year, 2020 was up 6.7 percent over 2019.

Source: Read Full Article