December Retail Sales Show Stronger-Than-Expected Spending

January 17, 2024

Retail sales beat expectations yet again in December.

Nationwide financial markets economist Oren Klachkin after the U.S. Census Bureau released the December retail sales report. Data shows that holiday shopping turned out slightly stronger than economists expected.

Why It Matters: The December retail sales report offers key data reflecting shopping amid the holiday season. Sales increased 0.6% from November to December with spending increases seen in clothing and clothing accessory stores, plus online nonstore businesses. Retail sales increased 5.6% from December 2022, and as the data is not adjusted for inflation, it reflects consumers keeping up with the pace of inflation.

Important Context: “The report comes amid speculation about how much strength the U.S. economy possessed heading into the new year, when growth is expected to slow. However, a resilient consumer could signal more momentum and possibly give the Federal Reserve some caution about how to proceed on interest rates,” explains CNBC.

Read More: December retail sales top estimates to cap strong 2023 (Yahoo Finance)

Retail sales rise 0.6% in December, topping expectations for holiday shopping (CNBC)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas