Retail and food service sales in January nudged up 0.2% after down 1.6% in December (previously down 1.2%). Excluding motor vehicles, sales were up 0.9% in January after down 2.1% in December (previously down 1.8%). Clearly the 2.6% decline for motor vehicles and parts restrained the total. More than offsetting the decrease were strong sales for building materials (up 3.3%), sporting goods (up 4.8%), nonstore retailers (up 2.6%), health and personal care (up 1.6%), and food and beverage stores (up 1.1%).
Gasoline service stations sales declined 2.0% in January. It probably reflects that the seasonal anticipated a larger rise in prices than occurred.
“Core” retail sales – sales excluding motor vehicles, building materials, and gasoline – was up 1.0% in January, a modest rise but one that suggests consumer spending off to a decent start in 2019.
Disclaimer: Whetstone Analysis provides commentary as a service to its subscribers. Whetstone Analysis is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site. While the information contained within the site is periodically updated and every effort is made to ensure its accuracy, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date. Click here to read our full Disclaimer.