Friday’s US Retail Sales report showed strong demand for automobiles and furniture, providing further evidence that the economy ended the fourth quarter with momentum at the retail level.
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.6% in December after increasing by 0.2% in November. Sales were up 4.1% on a year-on-year basis from December 2015 and rose 3.3% for all of 2016 versus 2.3% for all of 2015.
The Core Retail sales figures, which exclude cars, gasoline, building materials and food, rose 0.2% after being flat in November.
The Core Sales data corresponds more closely with the consumer spending component of the GDP and printed below the 0.4% forecast. Despite the smaller gain in Core Retails sales, the consumer spending trend in the US remains solid.