« Report: iPad 3 With Verizon, AT&T LTE Expected in Early March | Main | American Airlines Workers Picket Dallas Airport to Protest Layoffs »

Consumer Spending Rises 0.4% after Weak Holiday Numbers

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The milder than normal winter of 2012 seems to have invigorated Americans, sending more of them to stores to spend money.

According to the Commerce Department, sales of retail goods last month were up by 0.4 percent from the same period last year, a better than expected showing seeing as how lackluster the holiday shopping season was.

Folks were opening their wallets and pocket books to buy electronics, sporting goods and house and garden supplies.  The nicer weather meant it was easier to travel to bars and restaurants.

Another factor for increased spending: higher prices at the pump that will continue rising throughout the rest of the winter and into the spring.

January's increase isn't enough to put the economic recovery on the fast track but economists are nonetheless encouraged that consumers continue to spend more than they have in recent years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio