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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 09:52 AM

2. U.S. Retail Sales Fell 1.9% in December

ECONOMY | U.S. ECONOMY

U.S. Retail Sales Fell 1.9% in December

Many U.S. consumers heeded warnings about shipping delays, pushing a large share of holiday shopping seasonís usual gains to earlier in year

By Gabriel T. Rubin
https://twitter.com/Rubinations
Updated Jan. 14, 2022 8:39 am ET

U.S. retail sales dropped by 1.9% in December as the Omicron variant and inflation surged, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales grew by 16.9% last year on strong consumer demand.

Many holiday shoppers heeded warnings about shipping delays, pushing a large share of the holiday shopping seasonís usual gains to earlier in the year.

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Economic Report

U.S. retail sales sink 1.9% in December in biggest decline in 10 months

Last Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 8:35 a.m. ET
First Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 8:18 a.m. ET

By Jeffry Bartash

Omicron and inflation are big worries

The numbers: Sales at U.S. retailers such as Target and WalMart dropped 1.9% in the final month of 2021, as omicron spread like wildfire and shoppers confronted higher prices due to soaring inflation.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.1% decline in December.

If high inflation is taken into account, retail sales were even more sharply depressed in December.

Retail sales excluding auto dealers fell a sharper 2.3% last month, the government said Friday. Car sales tumbled last year after a shortage of computer chips knotted up production.

Retail sales are a big part of consumer spending and offer cues on the strength of the U.S. economy. Sales had risen sharply through most of last year before tapering off in the waning months.

{snip}

About the Author

Jeffry Bartash

jbartash@marketwatch.com
https://twitter.com/jbartash
Jeffry Bartash is a reporter for MarketWatch in Washington.

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