January sees four-month high in retail sales

In January, retailers leveraged customer satisfaction and loyalty to boost business and sales, resulting in higher returns for the month.

In January, retailers leveraged customer satisfaction and loyalty to boost business and sales, resulting in higher returns for the month.

According to Bloomberg News, which surveyed 65 economists, sales at U.S. retailers increased by a projected 0.8 percent in January, following a 0.1 percent gain in December. This represents the largest increase in the past four months.

The gain may have been influenced by a number of factors, including a jump in industrial production, falling unemployment and increases in business spending, the news source reports.

"As we've seen further gains in labor market activity, that should lead to further gains in spending," said Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities in New York, according to Bloomberg. "It's hard to argue against the case that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum."

Despite the projected increase in sales, confidence among U.S. consumers fell more than expected in February. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 72.5 from 75 last month.