Retail Sales Fell 0.3% in January

There were $492.0 billion in retail and food service sales in January, down 0.3% from the previous month but up 3.6% from January 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. December’s number was downwardly revised to reflect no significant change from November 2017.

Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – were unchanged. Year-over-year core sales increased 4.2%.

Retail trade sales decreased 0.3% from December and 3.9% from last year. Sales at nonstore retailers grew 1.2% following December’s 4.2% increase. Nonstore retailer sales are up 10.2% year-over-year as online retailers continue to grow their market share.

Sales at gasoline stations rose 1.6 during January after growing 0.3% in December. Gasoline station sales are up 9.4% since January 2016.

Read the Census release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.