Retail Sales Make Slow Climb in January
February 13, 2013,
WASHINGTON-Emerging from the holiday season, U.S. retail sales totaled $416.6 billion in January, up 0.1 percent from December and 4.4 percent ahead of January 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's monthly report.
The channels that sell home products experienced a laggard month as the year began. Sales and furniture and home furnishings stores fell 0.2 percent from December while rising 3.2 percent versus last year's January. General merchandise stores produced a 1.1 percent gain in sales month over month but fell 1 percent compared to last year. Department stores (excluding leased departments) reported a 1 percent pickup in sales over December along with a 0.6 percent decline in sales compared to January of last year.
That aside, NRF also found some hopeful signs for retail's future. Consumers seem more confident with a healthier housing market, stronger employment statistics and historic stock-market highs, according to the association's chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz. "Even though retail sales were relatively modest in January, consumers seem to have adjusted accordingly to rising taxes and energy prices," Kleinhenz said.