US Retail Sales and Inflation Rise, Oil Prices Fall

On Wednesday, February 15th, the US Census Bureau reported that Retail Sales in the United States rose by 3% to $697 billion in January.[0] Following December’s 1.1% decrease, the reading came in better than the expected 1.8% increase, according to the market.[1] Retail Sales ex-Autos expanded by 2.3%, compared to analysts’ estimate of +0.8%.[2] The publication stated that the total sales for November 2022 to January 2023 had risen 6.1% compared to the same period in the previous year.[1]

The report showed that sales at bars and restaurants rose by 7.2%, the biggest monthly increase since March 2021, while auto sales were up 5.9%.[3] Department stores saw a 17.5% growth, food services and drinking places increased by 7.2%, and general merchandise store sales gained 4.5%.

The US consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.5% in January, while the CPI increased by 6.4% from a year ago. The consumer-price index climbed 6.4% in January from a year earlier, down slightly from 6.5% in December.

The strong retail sales data, combined with the recent inflation numbers, suggests a robust consumer demand that could bolster the Federal Reserve’s resolve to keep raising interest rates in the face of persistent inflation.[4] At present, markets anticipate that the Fed will approve quarter percentage point interest rate increases at its upcoming two gatherings, then take a break to analyze the effect of the fiscal policy decisions on inflation, the job market, and overall economic development.[5]

Oil prices continued to decline as the dollar rose and U.S. stockpiles increased.[6] On Wednesday morning, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, decreased by 1%, trading at approximately $78.[6]

Investors should note that forex trading carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for all investors.[7] It is important to understand the risks associated with foreign exchange trading and seek advice from an independent financial or tax advisor if any questions arise.[8]

0. “U.S. retail sales climb by 3.0% in January By”, 15 Feb. 2023,

1. “Retail sales surge in January, smashing consensus” Seeking Alpha, 15 Feb. 2023,

2. “US: Retail Sales rise by 3% in January vs. 1.8% expected” Forex Factory, 15 Feb. 2023,

3. “Stock Market Today: Stocks Close Up After Strong Retail Sales Data” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 15 Feb. 2023,

4. “US Retail Sales Jump by Most in Nearly Two Years in Broad Gain” Bloomberg, 15 Feb. 2023,

5. “Retail sales jump 3% in January, smashing expectations despite inflation increase” CNBC, 15 Feb. 2023,

6. “Stock market news today: Stocks rise after strong retail sales data” AOL, 15 Feb. 2023,

7. “US Retail Sales Beat Expectations, US Dollar (DXY) Continues to Move Higher” DailyFX, 15 Feb. 2023,

8. “Why Wednesday’s US retail sales report could be stronger than expected” ForexLive, 14 Feb. 2023,