U.S. retail sales jump 5.3% in January
Analysts expected a 1.1% increase, while the percentage change for December was revised from a 0.7% decline to a 1% fall.
In January, retail sales increased 7.4% from the same month last year, totaling $568.2 billion, largely due to stimulus checks.
After the US Congress approved a $900 billion coronavirus relief package in December, millions of Americans started receiving $600 stimulus checks in early January.
While electronics and appliance stores saw a 14.7% increase in sales during January, compared to December, furniture store sales rose 12%, and department store sales jumped 23.5%.
Retail sales could further increase in coming months if President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package, which includes $1,400 direct payment to Americans, passes Congress. ■