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Retail Sales (Jan.)

The massive 3.0% m/m surge in retail sales in January may have been partly related to the unseasonably mild winter in the Northeast but, alongside the unexpected strength of payroll employment, it nevertheless suggests the economy will easily avoid a recession in the first quarter. We now expect first-quarter GDP growth to be 1.5% annualised, driven by a 3.5% increase in real consumption.

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