Retail sales increased 0.5% in January, beating economists’ estimates, boosted by merchandise and electronics sales, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
Excluding motor vehicles and parts, retail sales increased 0.6%, following an unchanged 0.2% decline in December. Auto and part sales were flat for the month.
December retail sales were down a revised 0.1%, originally reported as a 0.3% drop. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected retail sales to grow 0.3% and sales excluding autos to increase 0.5%, according to the median estimate.