Consumer spending may be reaching a precarious point
Despite the messy U.S. political climate, consumers are still consuming. And in January, we spent (slightly) more than the government expected us to.
U.S. retail sales rose 0.4 percent in January—up from the forecasted 0.1 percent increase.
The Commerce Department released the statistics Wednesday; they are consistent with December’s 1 percent gain in retail sales over last year.
All gains are good gains, but these are pretty minuscule. In comparison, last January’s retail sales were up 5.6 percent.
In January, electronics and appliance stores saw the biggest gain, at 1.6 percent—after falling 1.1 percent in December.
Sales at clothing stores hiked 1 percent, the biggest jump in almost a year. And department store sales climbed 1.2 percent, which is the biggest jump since December 2015.
(Photo courtesy of Raconteur)