Jan. 14 marks the first full business day since the global financial crisis and an economic recovery that has largely stalled amid high unemployment.
But the most dramatic economic development in a single month in decades occurred in January, with an economy that was still recovering from the depths of the Great Recession but now appears to be humming again.
Here’s what you need to know about what happened in January.
Jan. 1: A spike in retail sales as Americans flocked to stores The number of Americans who said they bought a new product rose from 1.9 million in January 2016 to 2.7 million in February 2017.
And the number of people who said their income was higher this year rose from 790,000 in January to 1.95 million in March.
That means more Americans are spending more, with consumers spending more money and businesses spending more.
That increase was driven by the surge in spending on clothing and home decor.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.5%, a drop of about 1.2 percentage points.
Jan, 13: More Americans in debt as the economy continues to slow down Jan. 13 saw a slight uptick in the number who reported their income had gone down, up from 1 in 10 in December to 1 in 8.
The number who said it had gone up rose to 4 in 10 from 4 in 7.
This marks a big jump from December, when there was a 1 in 5 increase.
It was a more modest increase compared with the 2.5% increase in December.
The numbers were driven largely by a surge in the consumer debt burden, which has been rising since the financial crisis, when the average consumer debt load was $1,000, according to the Federal Reserve.
The rise in consumer debt was offset somewhat by a dip in the debt held by households, with about 6.6 million households reporting a net worth of less than $5,000.
Jan., 12: More businesses reporting layoffs and closings The number that reported job cuts and closers was up in the last three months of 2017, but the number that said their businesses had closed was down.
The trend in hiring and closations is particularly notable given that companies were struggling to make ends meet before the financial downturn.
That’s been true in every month since January 2016.
Jan: More women in STEM fields The number reporting that their field of study had been impacted by the financial recession was up, but men’s participation in STEM was down slightly, according an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Women’s participation rose slightly in the STEM field, from 31.6% in January 2017 to 32.9% in March 2017.
Jan.: The number more than tripled for white men in the U