U.S. retail sales in stores, eating and entertainment venues, and online grew 5.3 percent in January over December’s lackluster holiday sales, the U.S. commerce department reported.
The sales jump marked the largest rise in consumer spending since June as shoppers spent their $600 federal stimulus stipends, economists said.
Consumer spending comprises almost 70 percent of the U.S. economy.
The new figures prompted the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow computer model to predict last week that the U.S. economy will grow 9.5 percent this quarter instead of the 4.5 percent the model predicted the week before.
Manufacturing output rose 1 percent in January from December, the fourth consecutive month of improvement and almost reaching its pre-pandemic production level, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported on 17 February. 
TREND FORECAST: We had forecast the more money being sent to consumers by the government, the higher retail sales, along with the general economy, will rise. However, the implications of higher inflation, U.S. debt levels rising, and the economy declining… when the money-pumping schemes end, the toll it will take on consumers and the general economy will be far more costly than what the stimulus packages temporarily provided. 

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