The U.S. economy received a strong start to 2024 as retail sales surpassed expectations in December, driven by increased motor vehicle and online purchases. The Commerce Department's

upbeat report has prompted economists to revise their growth estimates for the fourth quarter, challenging market expectations of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in March. Despite signs of potential credit card distress, experts see no evidence of an imminent economic downturn, highlighting the resilience of households in the face of challenges.

The diverse rise in sales, particularly in online retail, reinforces the shift away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores, a trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a solid labor market supporting household spending, experts remain confident in the economy's resilience and predict continued growth, dispelling fears of a recession.

The upcoming Fed decisions and GDP growth estimates suggest a positive outlook for the US economy in 2024. Photo by Wikimedia commons.