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
■ 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