In January, US retail sales increased 0.2% after falling 1.6% in December, the country's Department of Commerce reported. For economists, sales growth came as a surprise, since their forecast did not suggest a change in the December figure. Compared to the same month of 2018, an increase of 2.3% was noted. The sales figure, which does not include cars, gasoline, building materials and catering services, rose 1.1% in January. A month earlier, it was noted a drop of 2.3%. Economists expect the revised US growth estimate at the end of this month to be lowered, given the downward revision of December retail sales figures, as well as a report on the trade balance deficit and data on construction costs. At the same time, an increase of 2.6% in retail sales on the Internet and by mail in January indicated the most significant increase since December 2017.
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