Strong Consumer Spending Drives U.S. Retail Sales Growth

2021 kicked off with retail gains across nearly all sectors and all 50 U.S. states, says the ‘Mastercard SpendingPulse,’ which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. This January, U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive and gasoline, increased 9.2 per cent year-over-year, with online sales growing 62.1 per cent compared to 2020. The momentum of a stronger-than-anticipated holiday season continued throughout the month, with consumer spending buoyed by an infusion of stimulus payments, particularly in the first two weeks of the year. Spending in and around the home remained a top consumer priority, with hardware sales up 18.8 per cent and furniture and furnishings (+16.6 per cent) posting its eighth straight month of solid gains. Home categories, along with grocery, have seen some of the biggest category lifts following stimulus payments.