U.S. retail sales plunged in December, amid inflation pressures
According to data from the Commerce Department, December retail sales fell -1.9% from the previous month to $626.8 billion, well below the Street consensus forecast of flat reading. The figure is +19.3% higher from the COVID-hit period in the fall of last year.
Excluding auto and gasoline sales, December retail sales fell -2.5%, missing the Street consensus of 0.3% gain. Supply chain bottlenecks, Omicron and early holiday shopping affected pre-Christmas activity.