- U.S. Consumer Spending Climb More than Forecast
The U.S consumer spending rose more than predicted in January in a broad-based advance that shows consumers are well-positioned to drive the economy in 2017.
The retail sales gained 0.4 percent in January after a 1 percent increase in December, the Commerce Department report showed on Wednesday. Beating economists’ projection of 0.1 percent increase.
Core retail sales, that exclude automobiles and fuel rose 0.8 percent, surpassing analysts’ projections and the biggest gain since April.
The report showed steady hiring, moderate increase in growth and strategic discount are keeping consumer spending. The increase in consumer spending, especially household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy are expected to continue to support growth in the first quarter of 2017.
“The job market is tight. The fundamentals continue to be very supportive. The story for 2017 will again be one of the consumer driving the economy,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “We will see decent retail sales in coming months.”
The retail figures used in calculating gross domestic product but exclude categories such as auto dealers, food services, home-improvement stores and service stations, remained strong. The so-called retail control group’s sales climbed 0.4 percent for a second month.