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U.S. retail sales beat consensus in January, core jumps

Investing.com -

Investing.com - Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than expected in January, bolstering optimism about consumer spending being able to push economic growth at the beginning of 2017, official data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales rose 0.4% in January from the prior month, compared to expectations for a 0.1% increase. December retail sales increased 1.0%, whose figure was revised from an initial 0.6% gain.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in January, compared to forecasts for an advance of 0.4%. Core sales in the prior month were revised to a 0.4% advance from the prior 0.2% gain.

Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government's gross domestic product report. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.

Meanwhile, retail sales excluding both gas and automobile sales rose 0.7% in January, beating expectations for a 0.3% increase. The data for December was revised from a flat reading to a gain of 0.1%.

After the report, which was released simultaneously with January inflation data and the New York Empire State manufacturing index for February, EUR/USD was trading at 1.0527 from around 1.0554 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.2387, compared to 1.2412 previously, while USD/JPY was at 114.87 from 114.49 earlier.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 101.68, compared to 101.45 ahead of the report.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open. The Dow futures was unchanged, the S&P 500 futures edged down 3 points, or 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 5 points, or 0.09%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,218.65 a troy ounce, compared to $1,225.85 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $52.95, compared to $52.85 prior to the release.

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


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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