US retail sales rebound in January from bleak December

Retail sales gained 0.2 per cent in January, in line with forecasts. — Reuters pic
Retail sales gained 0.2 per cent in , in line with forecasts. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, March 11 — The US economy saw retail sales rebound slightly in January but December’s sales were even worse than originally reported, according to government data released today.

The bleak December figures were yet another sign of the economic angst in the latter part of 2018, as the US- trade war inflamed fears of a global slowdown.

Retail sales gained 0.2 per cent in January, in line with economists’ forecasts, but December sales fell 1.6 per cent from the prior month, revised from the 1.2 per cent decline originally reported, the Commerce Department said.

The data collection and release were delayed due to the five-week government shutdown as President Donald Trump demanded funding for a border wall, which also sapped consumer and business confidence.

Sales in January were 2.3 per cent higher than January 2018, while December was 1.7 per cent above the same month of 2017, according to the report.

Excluding motor vehicles and parts, January sales were better —- up 0.9 per cent — and December’s were much worse: a drop of 2.1 per cent.

Online retailers saw sales jump 2.6 per cent in January from the prior month, after a 5 per cent drop in December, the data showed.

At the start of the year, retailers posted big declines for motor vehicles, furniture, clothing and gasoline stations, with gains for sporting goods and book stores, building materials and garden supplies, food and beverage and health. — AFP

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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