Retail Sales Ex Auto Rose 0.4 Percent in January

Americans increased their spending at gasoline stations and restaurants in January, pushing up overall retail sales even as auto buying fell.

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent last month, slowing down from a solid 1 percent gain in December.

Higher gas prices drove a 2.3 percent sales increase at service stations. Purchases at restaurants and bars climbed 1.4 percent. But sales at auto dealers slipped 1.2 percent after jumping 2.9 percent in December.

Over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen a solid 5.6 percent. The greater spending likely reflects the improving job market. Employers added 227,000 workers in January, while the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.8 percent because more people started looking
for jobs and were counted as unemployed.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza