Retail sales destroy expectations as gasoline sales soar

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US retail sales came in well ahead of expectations for the month of January, according to new data from the Commerce Department.

Retail sales registered a 0.4% gain, well above the 0.1% jump for the month expected by economists.

Additionally, December retail sales were revised up significantly, to 1% growth from the original estimate of 0.6% growth.

A large help came from gasoline sales as prices continue to increase from the oil crash. Gasoline sales jumped 2.3% in January from December and are up 14.2% from the same month in 2016.

Additionally, core retail sales — which do not include auto sales — jumped by 0.8% in January, well above the 0.4% growth expected by economists.

Non-store retailers — which includes online shopping — also showed continued annual growth in January, growing by 12.0% from the same month a year before, but not budging from December.

Retail sales excluding both autos and gasoline also climbed well past expectations, up by 0.7% this month versus a projected gain of 0.3%.

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