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Retail Sales Fell in January

Most retail categories, including online, saw sinking sales last month.

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Retail Sales Fell in January
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

Overall retail sales in January fell .4 percent, excluding sales of autos and gas sales; the sharpest decline since March 2023, according to the monthly report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The monthly sales total for January was $700.3 billion. “It’s a weak report, but not a fundamental shift in consumer spending,” said Robert Frick, Corporate Economist for Navy Federal Credit Union, told CNBC. “December was high due to holiday shopping, and January saw drops in those spending categories, plus frigid weather plus an unfavorable seasonal adjustment. Consumer spending likely won’t be great this year, but with real wage gains and increasing employment it should be plenty to help keep the economy expanding.”

Online, electronics and appliance outlets, apparel, health and personal care and sporting goods all saw decreased sales in January. Food services, however, increased .7 percent.

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