“If they get it on December 25th, they’ll probably get it out in January when they’ve finished their festivities,” Ms Bovino said, noting that shoppers can be more forgiving. at a higher price when “they’re buying other people’s money.”
Plus, spending patterns become less predictable during a pandemic, further complicating efforts to predict what will happen next. Before the pandemic, holiday shopping would have pushed retail sales higher in December and the decline in spending would be reflected in January. This year’s increase follows a decrease in december that on Wednesday was revised to 2.5 percent.
However, Ms. Bovino noted that “people are still spending” in January, and purchases were widespread: Sales at car dealerships rose 5.7% month-on-month, in as e-commerce sales increased by 14.5%. Spending at electronics and home appliance stores increased 1.9 percent, and sales at clothing and general goods stores, such as department stores, were also higher.
The effects of the latest coronavirus wave are already evident in a number of areas. Spending at restaurants, bars and gas stations fell about 1% as people stayed home. But overall, sales in January grew much faster than the 2% rise economists had expected.
Frequently asked questions about inflation
What is inflation? Inflation is a Loss of purchasing power over time, which means your dollar won’t go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is usually expressed as an annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, clothing, transportation, and toys.
Consumers have been spending even as they face rapidly rising prices and supplies of new cars, home appliances and more. Consumer prices in January increased by 0.6% over the previous month, the government said last week, and 7.5% over the previous 12 months. Supply chain difficulties coupled with strong consumer demand pushed prices higher throughout last year.
Several companies that make consumer products recently reported increased sales even as they raised prices to offset higher labor and transportation costs. Procter & Gamble, maker of Crest toothpaste and Tide laundry detergent, said last month that price increase helped drive revenue 6% higher from a year earlier, to $21 billion in the three months ended December 31.
Kraft Heinz reported Wednesday that it was up 3.8 percent from a year earlier in the three months ending December. Its sales tumbled in the quarter but stronger than analysts expected, thanks in large part to price increases.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/16/business/economy/retail-sales-january.html Retail sales rebound in January 2022, up 3.8%