Shoppers boosted spending by 5.3% in January, the first increase in four months, buoyed by recent virus-related stimulus payments.
Spending was buoyed by the stimulus payments that many Americans received in the most recent $900 billion Covid-19 relief package.
The rise followed three consecutive months of declining sales during the 2020 holiday shopping season.
The $600-a-recipient stimulus checks distributed in early January were projected to be the main factor driving an uptick in spending, following the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and social-distancing measures. The U.S. experienced a sharp surge in coronavirus cases after the holidays.
Allen Merry said he used his recent stimulus check to buy a used acoustic guitar from a local musical instrument shop.