March 16th, 2021 | By: John Stewart

Research Brief: Retail Sales – February 2021

Consumers return with new government cash. Spending in every major sector improved in January, lifting core retail sales 6.1 percent from December and 7.6 percent from one year ago. The arrival of $600 stimulus checks to millions of Americans early last month was the primary catalyst for the jump. Shoppers reversed three consecutive months of declines as most of the CARES Act stimulus had faded from the economy. The $300 increase in unemployment benefits that was passed as part of the omnibus spending bill in late December will continue to support consum-er spending through March, when a new COVID -19 relief bill is expected to be in effect.