Holidays Bolster Retail Sales in December
January 15, 2013,
WASHINGTON-U.S. retail sales ended the holiday season by registering $415.7 billion in sales in December (on an adjusted basis), 0.5 percent ahead of November sales and 4.7 percent greater than December 2011, according to the monthly retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The retail channels that offer home merchandise presented mixed results last month. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores posted a 1.4 percent gain over November and an increase of 6.1 percent over December of last year. Sales at general merchandise stores were flat month to month and lost 2 percent from last year's December. Sales at department stores (excluding leased departments) picked up 0.3 percent from November but fell 1.7 percent versus a year ago.
Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist, said, "Heading into 2013, consumers could continue to think twice about their discretionary purchases as they face decreases in their paychecks and other concerns with their household budgets."