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US retail sales disappoint in January

Slide in retail sales but positive signs from the jobs market add to Fed’s dilemma on early rate cuts.

15 February 2024

Following a strong showing for December, US retail sales in dropped sharply in January, sliding by -0.8% on a month-on-month basis, the biggest drop since March 2023. Expectations were for a minor pullback in consumer spending to the tune of -0.2% so it would seem consumers are not so ebullient to a degree.

Meanwhile, weekly unemployment claims dropped to 212,000, 8,000 lower than the previous week. Mixed messaging then for the Federal Reserve; a better-than-expected jobs picture coupled with less-than-confident consumers. The market quandary on early rate cuts continues.

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Charles Hepworth

Investment Director
My Insights

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