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Financial News: U.S. Retail Sales Climb More Than Expected In

U.S. Retail Sales Climb More Than Expected In December

01/17/2024 - 09:31:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing U.S. retail sales increased by more than expected in the month of December.

The report said retail sales climbed by 0.6 percent in December after rising by 0.3 percent in November. Economists had expected retail sales to advance by 0.4 percent.

"Q4 retail spending ended on an emphatically strong note, underscoring estimates for above-trend fourth quarter GDP growth when the advance report is released next week," said said FHN Financial Macro Strategist Will Compernolle.

He added, "As long as the primary indicators of economic activity like personal spending and the labor market are showing no signs of weakness, the Fed will be comfortable extending its rate pause through the March FOMC decision at least."

The stronger than expected retail sales growth partly reflected a sharp increase in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which surged by 1.1 percent in December after climbing by 0.8 percent in November.

Excluding the jump in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in December after inching up by 0.2 percent in November. Ex-auto sales were expected to edge up by another 0.2 percent.

Sales by department stores spiked by 3.0 percent during the month, while sales by clothing and accessories stores and non-store retailers also saw notable growth.

Meanwhile, the report showed steep drops in sales by health and personal care stores, gas stations and furniture and home furnishings stores.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, advanced by 0.8 percent in December after climbing by 0.5 percent in November.

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