Retail sales fall 0.8% in January from December as shoppers pause after strong holiday season

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Posted at 11:27 AM, Feb 15, 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans pulled back their spending in January after splurging during the holiday season.

Retail sales fell 0.8% from the strong pace in December when retail sales were up a revised 0.4%, according to the Commerce Department.

The decline was bigger than the 0.10% drop that economists expected and marked the lowest monthly figure since March of last year.

Economists had expected consumers to pull back on spending late last year under the weight of credit card debt and delinquencies and lower savings.

Yet despite those challenges, along with higher borrowing costs, tighter credit conditions and still high price increases, household spending had been been fueled by strong job and rising wages.