Last month, auto sales increased 2.4 percent after falling 0.2 percent in November.
A separate report from research firm First Data found that retail sales increased 3.6 percent from October 29 through January 2, up from a 3.3 percent gain in the year-earlier period.
Retail sales rose 4.1% in December on a year-over-year comparison and 0.6% on a monthly view. The result was a tenth of a percentage point below an analyst consensus forecast. The retail sales expanded 1.1 percent year-on-year and 0.5 percent on a sequential basis, driven by motor vehicles that rose sharply by 17 percent year-on-year and 3.6 percent month-on-month.
Auto sales led the gains in retail spending, with consumers shelling out the most since April for light trucks and cars, according to the Commerce Department.
Sales were up 4.1 percent from December 2015. Meanwhile, furniture and home stores experienced a 0.5% rise and sporting goods stores suffered a 0.2% increase.
Xbox exclusive action game Scalebound has been canceled
Microsoft undoubtedly hears these concerns though and it likely took these things into consideration before cancelling the game. Microsoft set Scalebound for a 2016 release only to be delayed until 2017 before getting canceled for good.
"While there might have been some bumps in the road for individual companies, the retail industry overall had a solid holiday season and retailers will work to sustain this in the year ahead", Shay added. The total gain without motor vehicles and parts was only 0.2 percent for the month, though 3.4 percent for the year.
Average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent in the 12 months through December, the largest gain since June 2009, the government reported last week.
So if shoppers were shifting their money away from the likes of Macy's during the holiday season, where were they spending it?
The figures also pointed to a continuation of consumer trends in shopping, with online businesses seeing rising sales, while department stores moved fewer goods off the shelves. Wholesale prices excluding food and energy rose 0.2 percent from the previous month following a 0.4 percent rise.
Sales at building material stores increased 0.5 percent.