US Retail Sales Soar 3% in January, Inflation Rises

US Retail Sales Surge by 3.0% in January

US retail sales surged in January, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department.[0] The value of overall retail purchases increased 3% in a broad advance — the most since March 2021 — after a 1.1% drop in the prior month. Retail sales, apart from gasoline and autos, experienced the largest increase in almost two years at 2.6%. The figures have not been adjusted for inflation.[1]

Economists expected an increase of 1.8% in last month’s headline number, but instead, retail sales beat expectations, rising 3% in January.[0] The Census Bureau reported that retail sales increased by 3% in January, which reversed the consecutive drops recorded in November and December. In every area of expenditure monitored by the government, consumers spent more than before – with the exception of gas stations, where sales were the same.[2]

Retail sales surged 3% month-to-month to a total of $697 billion, exceeding the anticipated 1.7% increase according to FactSet. Sales increased by 2.6%, surpassing the prediction of a 0.45% rise, when taking into consideration the exclusion of vehicles and gas, which are two of the most unpredictable expenses. Excluding vehicle sales, core sales still exceeded expectations, increasing by 2.3% in comparison with the anticipated increase of 0.8% during the last month.[3] The control group in the report, excluding autos, gas, building materials, and food services, showed an increase of 1.7%, higher than the predicted 0.8%.[0]

The consumer price index, which tracks price changes for a range of goods and services, came in higher than expected and showed that inflation rose by 0.5% in January.[4] A year ago, the CPI had increased by 6.4%.[5] These figures will be taken into account by the Federal Reserve as it looks to continue its war against inflation.[6]

The most recent inflation data indicated that prices are staying at a high, troublesome level in the US, and the January US Employment Report was significantly better than anticipated, creating 517k jobs when the forecast was only 185k.[6] Signs of an improving US economy such as a robust labor market, increased retail sales, and strengthened manufacturing have given the Federal Reserve more flexibility in keeping interest rates higher for a longer duration if necessary.[6]

0. “Gold price drops below $1850 as U.S. retail sales surprise on the upside in January” Kitco NEWS, 15 Feb. 2023,

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

2. “Retail sales blowout underscores 2023’s unlikely boom” Axios, 15 Feb. 2023,

3. “US Retail Sales Jump 3% In January As Inflation Continues To Fall: What Investors Need To Know – SPDR S&P” Benzinga, 15 Feb. 2023,

4. “Dollar advances to six-week peak after strong U.S. retail sales data” CNBC, 15 Feb. 2023,

5. “Treasury yields rise as investors digest latest retail sales, inflation data” CNBC, 15 Feb. 2023,

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