U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January as households bought electronics and a range of other goods, pointing to sustained domestic demand that should bolster economic growth in the first quarter.
U.S. retail sales rose in December amid strong demand for automobiles and furniture, providing further evidence that the economy ended the fourth quarter with momentum and is poised for stronger growth this year. The strengthening economy also is starting to generate higher inflation. Other data on Friday showed a second straight monthly increase in producer prices in December, which led to the biggest year-on-year gain in just over two years.
There was quite a bit of economic data last week, and once again it was very mixed. While there were a few bright spots elsewhere, weak international trade numbers were reinforced by soft Chinese and U.S. Retail Sales figures.