A Walmart Shopper at a Self-Checkout | Source: Walmart

According to the latest data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the U.S. Census Bureau, the momentum of a record holiday season carried over into January to boost retail sales.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly retail survey indicates that January sales spiked 7.4% over the same period last year. NRF calculations, which use a different methodology, show a 10.7% increase.

“January’s retail sales numbers reflect a very strong start for consumers and retailers as we look ahead to a critical year curbing the global pandemic and strengthening our economic recovery,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers and the economy as a whole remain in good shape despite unprecedented adversity over the past year, and congressional action has been a lifeline for households and businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We’ve convened retail leaders and communicated directly with the White House that it is critically important for the government to work with retailers to get the vaccine into communities and administered as quickly and as safely as possible.”

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The NRF previously reported that the November/December holiday season brought 8% year-over-year retail sales growth.  NRF says 2020 full-year retail sales grew 6.7% over 2019.