Investing.com - Retail sales in the U.S. fell more than expected in January, dampening optimism over the strength of the economic recovery, official data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% last month, worse than expectations for a drop of 0.5%. Retail sales fell by 0.9% in December.
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, slumped by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in December, disappointing forecasts for a 0.4% decline. Core sales in November dropped 0.9%, upwardly revised from a previously reported fall of 1.0%.
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.
EUR/USD was trading at 1.1344 from around 1.1335 ahead of the release of the data, while GBP/USD was at 1.5380 from 1.5362 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 119.43 from 119.71 earlier.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 94.70, compared to 94.79 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures trimmed gains. The Dow futures pointed to a gain of 0.35% at the open, the S&P 500 futures rose 0.4%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures tacked on 0.45%.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,226.50 a troy ounce, compared to $1,223.60 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $49.90 a barrel from $49.97 earlier.
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