Sunday is Valentine's Day, and U.S. consumers are expected to spend $19.7 billion collectively, or an average of $146.84 each, setting a new spending record for the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. Total spending is up about $1 billion from last year.
January import prices fell 1.1% from the previous month and were down 6.2% from a year earlier, the Labor Department reported today. The drop in oil prices helped push the cost of imports down at the start of the year.
More data has been reported showing West Coast port activity is picking up. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reported a 37% increase in container imports in January compared to the same month in 2015. Exports at the ports also rose 5% from last year.
Consumer sentiment is down in February, falling to 90.7 on the index from January’s reading of 92. The drop was more than expected and is being attributed to inflation rates and a slower pace of job and wage gains.