Consumer Confidence on Par with Economic Growth

Retail Sales Surge in January, but Uncertainty Over Labor Market and COVID-19 Pandemic Persists

Consumers are continuing to spend into 2024, with core retail sales up by 3.2% from the previous year in January and retail sales up in six out of nine categories, according to a report released by CNBC/National Retail Foundation (NRF). Despite this generally positive sentiment, views on the labor market were less upbeat, with people expressing lower confidence in finding another job within the next three months.

The report was released ahead of Thursday’s U.S. retail sales data from the Census Bureau, which will provide more insight on consumer spending. Household views on personal finances and the economy are also looking brighter as high inflation continues to fade, with most people stating that their finances were better off than a year ago.

Despite these positive indicators, consumer spending is still being closely monitored as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the economy. The ongoing uncertainty around the virus and its impact on public health could lead to changes in consumer behavior and spending patterns in the coming months.

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