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Special Report

Retail Sales Research Brief

February 2022

Retailers Begin 2022 on a Strong Note as Shoppers Ramp Up Spending

Consumers step forward in January. After an early holiday shopping season led to a quieter than normal December, retail spending bounced back last month. Several sectors recorded strong gains, though online retailers and furniture stores posted the largest month-over-month increases at 7.2 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively. Spending was influenced by the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19, with more people staying home. Despite this recent setback, the economy is much more open than it was a year ago. Core retail sales have jumped 11.4 percent since January 2021, as an influx of government stimulus and widespread availability of vaccines encouraged consumers to go out. This is especially true for diners. Over the past 12 months, restaurants and bars saw 27 percent more business.

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