Retail sales February 16, 2022

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Following a historic holiday shopping season and all-2021 retail sales, US retail and foodservice advance estimates for January 2022 rebounded from the -2.5 drop. % in December 2021. Sales for the start of the new year started quite strong. Retail sales registered a seasonally adjusted total of $649.8 billion in January, up 3.8% from December despite moderating consumer confidence, concerns over the omicron, inflation and other obstacles. Despite these headwinds, January 2022 retail sales were up 13.0% year-over-year from January 2021.

Along with increases in retail sales, prices continued to advance, rising 0.6% from January and 7.5% from a year ago. Even with higher inflation, consumers were not deterred from shopping in January. In fact, despite inflationary pressure, labor issues, the omicron variant and other challenges, January retail sales exemplify consumer and retailer resolve. With no stimulus in sight, the end of the child care tax credit, wintry weather and rising inflation, consumers were armed with excess savings. and increased income from a tighter labor market as they exercised their spending power in January. As consumers spent a record amount during the holiday season, they continue to propel the economy forward. Retailers, like consumer resilience, continue to adapt and cope with the pandemic by finding ways to continue production and distribute goods to consumers amid increased demand.

We are confident of continued retail sales growth as we move forward through 2022, with demand for goods remaining strong despite a slight slowdown recently. Even with the continuation of recent consumer spending patterns, spending on services continues to recover, and as consumers continue to adapt, they should gradually feel more comfortable returning to more prevalent activities. -pandemics, which should increase expenditure on services.

Year-over-year, all retail categories increased, with the exception of electronics and appliance stores (-2.8%). Retail sales increased the most at gas stations (33.4%) and food services and drinking places (26.9%). Month over month, retail sales were down in 5 of 13 retail categories where sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores (-2, 9%) recorded the largest decline.

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