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United States Retail January 2023

United States: Retail sales expand at quickest pace since March 2021 in January

Retail sales grew 3.0% in month-on-month seasonally-adjusted terms in January, which contrasted December’s 1.1% decrease and far outpaced market expectations. The print marked the best reading since March 2021 and reflected a broad-based improvement across all key subsectors. That said, an imperfect method of seasonal adjustment by the Census Bureau likely flattered the January reading, with underlying consumer spending less buoyant than the latest data suggests.

On an annual basis, retail sales rose at a faster rate of 6.4% in January (December: +5.9% yoy). Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth fell to 8.6% in January (December: +9.2%.

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