Robust End-of-Year Retail Sales Figures Signal US Economic Strength -

Key Points

  • December retail sales rise 0.6%, beating forecasts
  • Annual retail growth at 3.2%, sector-specific gains notable
  • Strong retail sales signal bullish economic trend

US Retail Sales Surge in December, Signaling Economic Strength

December 2023 saw a significant uptick in U.S. retail sales, marking a strong end to the year and underscoring the resilience of the American consumer. Sales at U.S. retailers rose by 0.6% from November, surpassing both the previous month’s 0.3% gain and economist predictions, as reported by the Commerce Department. This increase reflects not just a seasonal upswing but a deeper trend of robust consumer spending.

Monthly and Annual Growth

The advance estimates for U.S. retail and food services in December 2023, which reached $709.9 billion, were up by 0.6% from November and an impressive 5.6% from December 2022. These figures, adjusted for seasonal variations but not price changes, demonstrate a consistent year-over-year growth pattern. For the entire year, total sales were up 3.2%, with the last quarter showing a 3.9% increase from the same period a year ago.

Sector-Specific Growth

The retail trade specifically saw a 0.6% monthly increase and a notable 4.8% rise from the previous year. Nonstore retailers experienced a significant year-over-year growth of 9.7%, while food services and drinking places climbed by 11.1% from December 2022. These numbers highlight the diverse areas of growth within the retail sector.

Strong GDP Indicator

The control group’s robust 0.8% increase, which feeds into GDP estimates, along with gains in other areas such as ex-autos and gas (0.6%) and ex-autos (0.4%), all exceeded expectations. These figures reinforce the idea that American household resilience continues to defy skeptics.

Short-Term Outlook: Bullish for Economy

Based on the December surge and the sustained growth across various retail segments, the short-term outlook for the U.S. retail sector remains bullish. The strong end-of-year performance, coupled with the diverse areas of growth, points to a continued upward trend, driving the economy forward into 2024.


This article was originally posted on FX Empire


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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