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Retail Sales Fall As Inflation Forces Americans To Spend More On Food

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Retail sales fell sharply in January, declining 0.8% from the previous month compared to forecasts of a milder 0.1% drop.

This suggests Americans pulled back on shopping after the holiday season, especially for big-ticket items typically financed with debt.

Car dealerships, electronics, and appliances saw month-over-month and year-over-year declines.

Online sales also fell from December’s surge but remained up 6.4% annually.

Spending dropped at clothing, sporting goods, and gas stations as well. However, grocery and restaurant sales rose, likely due to food inflation.

The steeper than expected retail sales decline may boost hopes the Fed will cut rates later in 2022 to counteract signs of a possible overheating economy from strong jobs reports and inflation.

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