Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Total retail sales increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.1 percent in January, following increases of 0.5 percent in both November and December. Since January of 2012, retail sales are up 4.4 percent, which is roughly in line with the current near-term trend in year-over-year changes. Auto sales, which contributed to the growth in retail sales over the past few months, declined slightly in January, down 0.1 percent, following increases of 2.7 and 1.2 percent in November and December, respectively. Excluding autos, retail sales increased 0.2 percent in January, after increasing 0.3 percent in December, and have increased 3.6 percent since January of last year. Most individual sectors only saw modest gains or declines during January. Contributing to the monthly gain in total sales were improvements in sales for general merchandise stores (up 1.1 percent), non-store retailers (up 0.9 percent), and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (up 0.6 percent). Sectors that saw the largest declines in January were miscellaneous store retailers (down 2.6 percent), health and personal care stores (down 1.0 percent), and clothing stores (down 0.3 percent). A less volatile indicator of sales growth, “core” retail sales (which excludes sales of autos, building supplies, and gas stations) increased 0.1 percent in January, following increases of 0.7 percent in both November and December, and are up 4.0 percent on a year-over-year basis, which is a slight improvement over the average yearly growth rate of 3.7 percent throughout the fourth quarter of last year.