In December 2016, the U.S. retail sales have risen as strong demand for automobiles and furniture, prove that the economy ended the fourth quarter with momentum and is set for even stronger growth. The economy is starting to generate higher inflation and data on Friday showed a second straight monthly increase in producer prices in December, which showed the biggest gain in just over two years.
"The broader trend in the consumption data still looks solid," said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. "Consumer spending will also likely continue to benefit from the recent increase in confidence and wage gains."
According to Reuters, the Commerce Department said retail sales increased 0.6 percent last month. November's retail sales were revised up to show a 0.2 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent gain. Sales were up 4.1 percent from December 2015. They rose 3.3 percent for all of 2016, up from 2.3 percent in 2015. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rose 0.2 percent after being flat in November. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.
Economists had forecast overall retail sales increasing 0.7 percent and core sales gaining 0.4 percent last month.