KEY POINTS
  • Retail sales rose 3% in January, easily topping the 1.9% Dow Jones estimate, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
  • The numbers are not adjusted for inflation, meaning that consumers outpaced the 0.5% inflation rate for the month.
  • Food service and drinking places, motor vehicle and parts dealers, and furniture stores led the sales increases.

Sales at retailers rose far more than expected in January as consumers persevered despite rising inflation pressures.

Advance retail sales for the month increased 3%, compared with expectations for a rise of 1.9%, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Excluding autos, sales rose 2.3%, according to the report, which is not adjusted for inflation. The ex-autos estimate was for a gain of 0.9%.