Retail Sales Jumped 5.3% in January, Far Higher Than Expected

Retail sales surged 5.3 percent in January, far higher than analysts and economists expected, providing a needed jolt to an economy that showed signs of weakening at the end of last year.

The large jump in sales, reflected in data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, was most likely fueled by the latest round of stimulus checks, which were mailed out at the end of last year. The $600 checks, some easing in virus outbreaks and the increased distribution of vaccines helped send customers back into stores and restaurants last month…  The New York Times

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