Retail sales recover in January
Upswing follows bad December

Freeman Staff

March 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — Americans were spending money again in January after a dreary December for retailers, according to data from the National Retail Federation.

The NRF said retail sales increased 1.3 percent in January compared to December and 3.6 percent compared to January 2018. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Retail sales recovered in January after the unexpected drop in December, reinforcing a positive start to 2019,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “American consumers regained confidence as concerns over the government shutdown and stock market volatility faded and trade talks moved in a positive direction.

The NRF is predicting that 2019 retail sales will increase 3.8 percent to 4.4 percent for a total of more than $3.8 trillion.

Specifics, according to the NRF, during January include:

■ Building materials and garden supply stores were up 10.4 percent year-overyear and up 3.3 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

■ Online and other nonstore sales were up 6.3 percent year-over-year and up 2.6 percent month-overmonth seasonally adjusted.

■ General merchandise stores were up 3.2 percent year-over-year and up 0.8 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

■ Electronics and appliance stores were down 3.2 percent year-over-year and down 0.3 percent monthover- month seasonally adjusted.