The National Retail Foundation (NRF) and CNBC have released a report that reveals consumers continue to spend into 2024, with core retail sales up by 3.2% from the previous year in January and retail sales up in six out of nine categories. This is an indication that the US economy is on track to recover from the pandemic, despite some concerns about the labor market.
The report was released ahead of Thursday’s U.S. retail sales data from the Census Bureau, which will provide more insight on consumer spending. However, household views on personal finances and the economy are already looking brighter as high inflation continues to fade, with most people stating that their finances were better off than a year ago. Despite this generally positive sentiment, views on the labor market were less upbeat, with people expressing lower confidence in finding another job within the next three months.
The NRF/CNBC report shows that consumer spending has been steadily increasing since last year, indicating that they are feeling more confident about their financial situation. This trend is expected to continue into 2024, as core retail sales rose by 3.2% from the previous year in January alone. In addition to this, six out of nine categories saw an increase in retail sales in January compared to December 2021.
Despite this positive news, there are still concerns about the labor market. While many households view their finances as being better off than a year ago due to high inflation fading away, people expressed lower confidence in finding another job within the next three months. This suggests that while consumers may be spending more money at stores now, they may not be ready for long-term employment opportunities just yet.
Overall, it appears that consumer spending remains strong and optimistic for future years but still need further analysis of labor market trends before making any predictions or recommendations for businesses or policymakers.