Filed Under:  U.S. & World

7 Month Winning Streak for Retail Sales

Contributed by on February 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Although the latest numbers are the weakest posted since June of 2010, a new report shows that retail sales saw their seventh consecutive monthly increase.  According to the Commerce Department, the critical retail sales measure rose by .3% during the month of January to slightly more than $319 billion.  Retail sectors which saw the greatest increase in demand included electronics stores, car dealerships and department stores.

In all, retail sales are up by more than 14% since recessionary lows which were hit at the end of 2008.  Additionally, the latest round of numbers were seen as good news since much of the nation was impacted by harsh winter weather.  However, economists had predicted a more significant gain especially in light of the fact that Congress did not choose to raise income taxes in 2011.

Other sectors of the economy also rose.  Auto sales increased by .5% during January after having risen by 1.5% during the month of December while department store sales increased by .5% as well.  Retail giant Wal-Mart saw an increase of approximately 1% in sales for the month.

However, not all sectors of the economy saw sales increases during January.  Sectors which remained weak included specialty clothing stores, hardware outlets and furniture stores.