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U.S. Commerce Department reported retail sales climbed a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in January this follows 3 months of declines. The Commerce Department also reported that December’s drop in retail sales was actually larger than it first reported, revising down 1% instead of 0.7%. January’s increase in retail sales was across the board: Motor vehicle and parts reported a 3.1% increase, furniture stores surged 12.0%, electronics and appliance soared 14.7%, clothing stores rose 5.0%, and sporting goods were up 8%. Sales were especially strong in department stores showing a very strong 23.5% increase, while online sales climbed 11%. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials, and food services, retail sales jumped 6.0% in January, after dropping by a revised 2.5% in December.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Producer Price Index for final demand increased a seasonally adjusted 1.3% in January. This is the largest gain since December 2009 and follows a 0.3% increase in December. Two-thirds of the January final demand increase can be traced to a 1.3% rise in the index for final demand services. The core PPI (excluding the food, energy, and trade services components), was up 1.2% in January. For the 12 months through January, the core PPI increased 2.0%. which is the largest increase since June 2019. Prices for final demand goods increased 1.4%.in January, the largest since May 2020. Some 60% of the increase is attributed to a 5.1% rise in final demand energy prices. Although higher inflation is anticipated as the effects of coronavirus wear off, Fed Chair Powell has played down the risk saying he doesn’t expect “a large nor sustained” increase in inflation.
The National Association of Realtors reported that previously occupied U.S. homes increased by 0.6% in January 2021 to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 6.69 million annualized units. Sales increased by 23.7% as compared to last year, the highest sales rate since October. Housing prices also went up in January at an average price of $303,900, an increase of 14.1% from a year earlier. There was also an all-time low inventory of 1.04 million homes for sale, a 25.7% decline over a year ago. Seventy-one percent of the homes sold in January 2021 were on the market for less than a month. Homes were typically on the market for 21 days in January, down from the 43 days in January 2020.
Tuesday February 23 – CB Consumer Confidence (Feb)
Thursday February 25 – GDP (QoQ) (Q4)
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