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U.S. Retail Sales Surprise With Sharpest Advance in Seven Months

  • Jump tops all estimates, reflects $600 relief payments
  • May influence debate over Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan
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U.S. Retail Sales Show Sharpest Gain in Seven Months
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U.S. retail sales surged in January by the most in seven months, beating all estimates and suggesting fresh stimulus checks helped spur a rebound in household demand following a weak fourth quarter.

The value of overall sales increased 5.3% from the prior month after a 1% decline in December, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. It was the first monthly gain since September and all major categories showed sharp advances.