WASHINGTON – The economy grew at a 4.1% pace in the final three months of 2020, slightly faster than first estimated, ending a year in which the overall economy, ravaged by a global pandemic, shrank more than in any year in the last seven decades.
The influx of new government stimulus efforts and accelerated vaccine distribution could lift growth in the current quarter, ending in March, to 5% or even higher, economists believe.
The 4.1% gain in the gross domestic product – the broadest measure of economic health – is a slight upward revision from 4% growth in the first estimate released a month ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The revision alters the country's annual GDP, which shrank 3.5%, the largest decline since 1946, when the U.S. demobilized after World War II.
Apple Glen Kohl's to get Sephora store
The Kohl's store near Jefferson Pointe will be among the first 200 locations nationwide offering Sephora at Kohl's, a store-in-store concept launching this fall, officials announced Thursday.
Sephora at Kohl's will be a fully immersive, premium beauty destination, designed within a 2,500-square-foot space and prominently located at the front of the store. The retailer will offer a unique range of makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance from more than 100 beauty brands, a news release said.
Personalized beauty consultations will be available from Sephora-trained beauty advisers.
The store-in-store concept will expand to at least 850 Kohl's stores by 2023, officials said. The Lima, Ohio, Kohl's store will also be in the initial rollout.
Some Target stores to have Apple space
Apple mini stores will open in select Target locations and online this month, expanding the number of iPhones and other products available.
The mini stores will expand throughout 2021, Target said Thursday.
The newly designed store spaces will better display the Apple products, plus Target “tech consultants” trained by Apple will be able to better answer questions and give product demonstrations.
Big-ticket orders see3.4% rise in January
Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft. A category that tracks business investment posted a more modest gain, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
Orders for goods meant to last at least three years have now risen nine straight months.
The January gain, triple what economists had expected, followed upticks of 1.2% in December and 1.3% in November. Orders have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels; they're up 3.5% from a year earlier.
Pending home sales go down again
The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes declined again, with the number of properties for sale not matching the surging demand in the U.S.
The National Association of Realtors' index of pending home sales fell 2.8%, to 122.8, which was still a record high for the month. December's index, which was also a record high, was revised upward.
Despite the recent declines, contract signings are still 13% ahead of where they were last year at this time.