Retail sales destroy expectations as gasoline sales soar

US retail sales came in well ahead of expectations for the month of January, according to new data from the Commerce Department.

Retail sales registered a 0.4% gain, well above the 0.1% jump for the month expected by economists.

Additionally, December retail sales were revised up significantly, to 1% growth from the original estimate of 0.6% growth.

A large help came from gasoline sales, as prices continue to increase from the oil crash. Gasoline sales jumped 2.3% in January from December and were up 14.2% from the same month in 2016.

Core retail sales, which do not include auto sales, jumped by 0.8% in January, well above the 0.4% growth expected by economists.

Nonstore retailers, which includes online shopping, also showed continued annual growth in January, growing by 12.0% from the same month a year before but not budging from December.

Retail sales excluding both autos and gasoline also climbed well past expectations, up by 0.7% in January versus a projected gain of 0.3%.

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