SHOP DROP: Americans barely spent more last month at retail businesses and restaurants after higher taxes cut their paychecks. Retail sales ticked up 0.1 percent in January from December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
TAXING TIMES: Nearly all working Americans are taking home less pay this year after Congress and the White House allowed a temporary 2 percentage point cut in Social Security taxes to expire Jan. 1.
NOT ALL BAD: Economists were mildly encouraged that spending rose at all after the tax increases took effect. Many expect that spending could pick up later this year as hiring improves.