WAUKESHA — An
improving economy kept January retail sales nearly as good as the
holiday season’s strong showing — dropping only 0.26 percent
seasonally adjusted from December — and fueled a healthy 5.4 percent
increase year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said
exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
reinforce a positive start to 2018 that reflects ongoing consumer
optimism brought about by solid economic fundamentals,” NRF Chief
Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a news release.
are spinning this as a disappointing month but you’ve got to keep in
mind that we’re coming off one of the strongest holiday seasons in
years,” Kleinhenz added. “It’s also difficult to draw conclusions
from month-to-month changes because of the huge seasonal-adjustment
numbers follow 5.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year growth in
holiday sales during November and December, which was revised down
slightly today from the 5.5 percent initially reported. December was
down 0.1 percent from November seasonally adjusted but up 3.8
percent year-over-year. The three-month year-over-year moving
average is at 5.2 percent.
are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported
Wednesday that overall January sales — including automobiles,
gasoline and restaurants — were down 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted
from December but up 5 percent year-over-year.