WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales jumped 1 percent in January, reversing a six-month declining trend and defying economists’ expectations by posting the biggest increase in 14 months.
But higher gasoline prices and sales, and buyers snapping up other items on post-holiday discounts appeared to aid last month’s results. Analysts cautioned that the relief is unlikely to last.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that January retail sales rose 1 percent from December after having fallen for six straight months. Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected January sales to show a drop of 0.8 percent. They plunged a revised lower 3 percent in December, which marked the weakest holiday selling season since at least 1969.