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Special Report

Retail Sales Research Brief

January 2022

Retail Sales Have Tailwinds Heading into 2022 Despite Soft End to 2021

Consumers step back in December. Core retail sales dipped 2.5 percent last month as spending that usually occurs closer to the holidays was spread over a longer shopping season. Furthermore, the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 elevated case counts, keeping more people at home. Retail sales, however, are up 16.5 percent from one year ago and consumers still have more than $5 trillion additional funds in savings and money market accounts. The largest decrease occurred in online sales as supply chain concerns encouraged people to move up more of their purchases. Compared to November, which includes Cyber Monday, internet spending declined by 8.7 percent, though they remained 10.7 percent above the same month last year.

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