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U.S. Retail Sales Jump Strong in January

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales rose 3.8% in January from the previous month, after falling 2.5% in December.

The increase in retail sales in January was boosted by a 14.5% rise in online purchases.

Basic retail sales, excluding sales of autos, oil, building materials, and food, rose 4.8% in January after falling 4.0% in December.

In addition, the U.S. indicated that the number of applicants for refinanced loans declined due to higher interest rates.

According to the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA), refinance applications fell 9% last week due to rising mortgage rates and were down 54% from a year ago

Applications for home equity loans fell 1% last week and 7% compared to the same period last year.

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans for loans up to $647,200 increased to 4.05% from 3.83% previously.

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