January Retail Sales Surpass Expectations

FinancialsFeb 18, 2021

January Retail Sales Surpass Expectations

The National Retail Federation credits the holiday season momentum and stimulus checks for the rise in sales.

U.S. retail sales were up 5.3 percent month-over-month in January to $568.2 billion.

New York—Consumer spending in the United States was off to a strong start in 2021, bolstered by momentum from the holiday season and stimulus checks.

Overall retail sales were up 5.3 percent month-over-month in January to $568.2 billion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, climbing 7.4 percent year-over-year.

The results surpassed analyst expectations of a monthly rise of 1.2 percent.

As with other months, December’s numbers were revised to reflect more recent information.  

Sales were down 1 percent month-over-month in December, but up 2.5 year-over-year.

“January’s retail sales numbers reflect a very strong start for consumers and retailers as we look ahead to a critical year curbing the global pandemic and strengthening our economic recovery,” said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release about the results. 

NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said the rise in retail spending was expected, due in part to the latest round of stimulus checks and improving COVID-19 trends.

“There was none of the falloff in spending that we often find post-holiday and the increase was even better than expected,” he said.

“There is plenty of purchasing power available for most consumers, and the pickup in shopping has even been reflected in the number of hours worked by retail employees.”

Kleinhenz said consumer confidence is growing because of the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the easing of restrictions on economic activity by state and local governments.

Shay said NRF has communicated with the White House, stressing how important it is to retailers for the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered into communities as quickly and as safely as possible.

The retail organization also calculates monthly retail sales, narrowing in on core retail and excluding auto sales, gas stations, and restaurants.

Its calculations show January sales were up 5.9 percent seasonally adjusted from December and up 10.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Seven out of nine retail categories saw year-over-year increases, according to the NRF, led by electronics and appliance stores on a monthly basis and online sales on a yearly basis.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

WatchesApr 22, 2021
Check Out All Patek Philippe’s 2021 Newness

The watchmaker showed what’s new in Nautilus, revamped Calatrava models, and a brand-new perpetual calendar.

Policies & IssuesApr 22, 2021
US Government Sanctions Burmese State-Owned Pearl Co.

Myanmar Pearl Enterprise handles oyster fishing and breeding, as well as the culturing, harvesting, and selling of pearls.

MajorsApr 22, 2021
Tiffany Signs K-Pop Star Rosé as New Ambassador

Blackpink member Rosé will be the face of the 2021 Tiffany HardWear campaign.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

Events & AwardsApr 22, 2021
BIJC, Ben Bridge Introduce a New Scholarship

Named for the late Lonia Tate, the scholarship is for the Graduate Gemology program at GIA, with an internship at the jeweler to follow.

Weekly QuizApr 16, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of April 12-16, 2021.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsApr 22, 2021
IEG Pushes Oroarezzo Italian Jewelry Trade Show to 2022

It was originally slated for June 12-15 at the Expo Centre in Arezzo, Italy.

SourcingApr 21, 2021
Why Inclusivity Is Important in Diamond Traceability

As the importance of mine-to-market grows, some worry about its feasibility for all the diamond industry’s players.

Brought to you by
4 Reasons You Need This Program for Mother’s Day

Learn how to increase customer loyalty and revenue by making JM™ Care Plan a cornerstone of your business plan.

CollectionsApr 21, 2021
Alrosa’s ‘Luminous’ Collection Leans Into Fluorescence

The diamond miner and seller is marketing the stones for their glow.