"Consumer spending will remain the cornerstone of economic growth this year, but the near-term path will be choppy amid surging Omicron cases."

Lydia Boussour, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, commenting to CNN Business for its report on Friday, "Warning Sign for the Economy: Consumers Are Getting Grumpy.” Americans shopped less in December, causing the first drop in retail sales since the summer, the CNN report noted. Sales dropped 1.9 percent in December compared with November, adjusted for seasonal swings, the Census Bureau reported Friday.