Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Retail Sales Rise In January

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Year-over-year retail sales were up 2.34% in January, according to the NRF.

The solid retail sales growth from 2023 has carried into 2024 as consumers followed up the holiday season by continuing to shop in January.

Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were down just 0.16% seasonally adjusted month-over-month and up 2.34% unadjusted year-over-year in January, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor. That compared with increases of 0.44% month-over-month and 3.07% year-over-year in December.

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales – excluding restaurants in addition to autos and gas – was down a slim 0.04% month-over-month and up 3.24% year-over-year in January. That compared with increases of 0.19% month-over-month and 2.4% year-over-year in December.

“January sales continued the strong performance of retail sales in December, which is impressive coming off a record holiday season,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “More importantly, year-over-year growth was solid, showing consumers are still optimistic and willing to act on the spending power brought by growing employment and wages. This is a great start to the new year.”

This is the fourth month that the Retail Monitor, which was launched in November, has provided data on monthly retail sales. Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual, anonymized credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity Solutions and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.
January sales were up in six out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and clothing and accessory stores, and up in five categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 0.68% month-over-month seasonally adjusted and up 25.47% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.51% month-over-month seasonally adjusted and up 9.7% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.52% month-over-month and up 5.9% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were down 0.2% month-over-month but up 4.06% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were down 0.65% month-over-month seasonally adjusted but up 1.79% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were down 0.64% month-over-month seasonally adjusted but up 1.14% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Building and garden supply stores were up 0.48% month-over-month but down 1.55% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.34% month-over-month seasonally adjusted but down 4.21% year-over-year unadjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.97% month-over-month seasonally adjusted and down 6.35% year-over-year unadjusted.

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