Retail sales in December 2023 exceeded expectations and demonstrated the resilience of U.S. consumer demand. The U.S. Census Bureau’s advanced estimate revealed that retail and food services sales amounted to $709.9 billion. Compared to the previous month, retail sales increased by 0.6% and had a significant surge of 5.6% compared to December 2022. This surpassed economist predictions and indicated strong economic growth in the last quarter of the year. Even when excluding auto sales, retail numbers still showed strength with a 0.4% increase, outperforming expectations. Notable winners in the retail sector included nonstore retailers, food services and drinking places, electronics and appliance stores, and motor vehicle and parts dealers. However, furniture and home furnishing stores experienced a decline, and gasoline stations faced significant setbacks in sales. The release of these figures led to the U.S. dollar gaining ground and market reactions included higher treasury yields and futures on major U.S. stock averages trading lower.