December Retail Sales Down 1.9% from Nov., but Up 16.9% YOY

Washington, DC, January 14, 2022-Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2021 were $626.8 billion, a decrease of 1.9% from the previous month but 16.9% above December 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Total sales for the 12 months of 2021 were up 19.3% from 2020. Total sales for the October 2021 through December 2021 period were up 17.1% from the same period a year ago. The October 2021 to November 2021 percent change was revised from up 0.3% to up 0.2%.

Retail trade sales were down 2.1% from November 2021 but up 14.4% above last year. Gasoline stations were up 41.0% from December 2020, while food services and drinking places were up 41.3% from last year.

"U.S. retail sales dropped by 1.9% in December as the Omicron variant and inflation surged, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales grew by 16.9% last year on strong consumer demand," according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Many holiday shoppers heeded warnings about shipping delays, pushing a large share of the holiday shopping season’s usual gains to earlier in the year.

"Annual growth in retail sales for 2021 is a reflection of the torrent of consumer spending that has followed in the wake of depressed sales the prior year during the worst economic period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Retail businesses aren’t likely to see the same pace of growth this year, with consumer savings coming down from high levels, and the Omicron variant creating fresh disruption and keeping patrons away from restaurants and bars."

Related Topics:U.S. Census Bureau