Additional stimulus drive US retail sales to 7-month peak; factory output steps up



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Additional stimulus drive US retail sales to 7-month peak; factory output steps up

On Wednesday, US Commerce Department said in a statement that US retail sales gained across the board in January, soaring to their highest level in seven months while snapping up a three-month long losing streak as an $892 billion in additional fiscal stimulus passed later last year in US Senate had proffered a much-required lifeline to millions of Americans, signalling a scintillating sign that a Newtonian pick-up in US economic activities has gathered steam after having been contracted by a fresh wave of pandemic outbreak later last year.

In factuality, in the day’s US Commerce Department report has been a precise illustration of a sharp upswing in US economic activities with consumers’ confidence being restored much faster-than-anticipated, while the US Federal Reserve said in a separate statement earlier in the day that the US manufacturing output had perked up robustly.

US retail sales surge; factory output bolsters

Meanwhile, according to US Commerce Department report, retail sales jumped by 5.3 per cent on an adjusted basis in January after falling about 1 per cent a month earlier, while on a year-on-year basis, US retail sales stepped up by 7.4 per cent.

Besides, in what could be contemplated as a gradual restoration of consumers’ confidence to increase expenses on in-house restaurants and bars with a mass-scale pandemic vaccine campaign underway, spending in restaurants and bars rose by 6.9 per cent.

US Federal Reserve in tandem had said in a separate statement earlier in the day that the US factory production surged 1.0 per cent in January, marking up a ninth straight month of gains in manufacturing outputs despite widespread disruption in supply chains.

Meanwhile, citing prospects of a near term economic recovery on the horizon, a Professor of Economics at Boston College, Brian Bethune said following the announcement, “The blow-out retail sales report puts in place some initial strong scaffolding for growth in the first quarter of 2021.

Underlying growth momentum is building as the third seasonal wave of the pandemic has moved over the hump, and the vaccination program is being accelerated”. Still, in the day’s upbeat economic data would not be sufficient to draw a line in the sand against President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill with millions of Americans making ends meet on state unemployment benefits, suggested analysts.