Retail sales fell 1.9% in December compared to the previous month, suggesting that shoppers bought holiday gifts earlier last year as they faced rising inflation and supply chain issues.

Driving the news: The data is much lower than the 0% change predicted by economists, according to FactSet.

Total sales for 2021 were up 19.3% from 2020, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau out Friday.

The big picture: Expectations for shortages due to supply chain issues and the desire to avoid crowds amid a COVID surge may have pulled some holiday sales forward.

Consumer prices jumped 0.5% in December, outstripping the rise in retail sales.

Between the lines: The numbers aren't adjusted for inflation, meaning sales decreased despite consumers buying fewer goods for more money.

Go deeper: Inflation hit 7% in December, its highest since 1982

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