The U.S. Commerce Department (Washington, D.C.) issued a report that showed that retail sales increased across the board in January, beating economists’ expectations, reports Women’s Wear Daily.
Sales at apparel and accessories stores increased 1 percent, while department store sales increased 1.2 percent. The largest gains were seen at gas stations.
Economists at Moody’s Analytics (New York) had predicted overall retail sales to be flat or down 0.1 percent. However, overall retail sales increased 0.4 percent to $472.1 billion.
“The healthy monthly gain was driven by January’s strong payroll gains, retail employment gains and business sentiment,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation (Washington, D.C.). “We haven’t seen strong January growth in several years, which indicates that consumers are increasing their spending and remain the leading driver of the economy.”