Strong retail sales recorded in January were driven by a widening income gap, with spending among lower income groups being significantly lower YoY.
According to the latest US Census Bureau data, sales in January increased by 3.8% compared to December. Non-store sales, including online shopping, were up by 14.5%, followed by department stores (9.2%) and furniture sales (7.2%).
Total retail sales in January this year were up by 12.7% compared to the same month last year. Data from Mastercard Spending Pulse also indicated a similar trend, recording a 7.2% YoY increase in retail sales, and a 10.4% increase in online sales. Department store, apparel and luxury goods recorded double-digit YoY growth in January, at 10.5%, 37.6% and 45.3%, respectively.
According to the Adobe Digital Price Index, January prices rose by 1.1% compared to December last year, marking the 20th consecutive month of online price inflation. Apparel prices rose by 15.8% YoY, while grocery items got costlier by 5.8% YoY.
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