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Retail Sales Were Higher Than Expected in January

Jewelry store sales were part of the increase.

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Retail and food services sales reached $472.1 billion in January 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That number represented a 0.4 percent increase from the previous month and a 5.6 percent increase from January 2016, based on data adjusted for seasonal variation.

The Jewelers Board of Trade writes that “not seasonally adjusted” jewelry store sales were up 3.8 percent for the year, based on the U.S. Census Burea data. They were up 6.9 percent in December 2016 compared to December 2015.

“Not adjusted” retail and food data for January 2017 showed a 4.9 percent year-over-year increase. Department store sales were down 5.6 percent while non-store retail sales were up 14.5 percent year-over-year.

Bloomberg reports that retail sales “rose more than forecast last month in a broad-based advance that indicates the consumer is well-positioned to propel the economy in early 2017.”

According to the news service, “steady hiring, a modest improvement in wage growth and discounting” are driving the relatively robust sales.

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The National Retail Federation recently predicted that retail industry sales are likely to grow between 3.7 and 4.2 percent this year over 2016.

Read more at Bloomberg

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