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Tiffany Montgomery
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NRF: Discretionary spending boosts seventh consecutive month of retail sales increases

By Press Releases
February 15, 2011 9:38 AM

Stronger Discretionary Spending Helps Boost Retail Sales for Seventh Straight Month,

According to NRF

 

Washington, February 15, 2011 – With consumers showing spending power beyond the holiday season, January marked the seventh straight month of retail sales gains.

 

According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) for January increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted from December and 3.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

 

“In spite of the economic uncertainties that still exist, consumers are clearly demonstrating their desire to spend on discretionary items once again,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

 

“The industry is certainly benefitting from the renewed confidence we’re seeing in shoppers, although sustained growth in 2011 will largely rely on improvement in key economic indicators like employment and housing.”

 

“Many factors, including stock market gains, tax cuts, income growth and savings built up during the recession are contributing to the recent spur in consumer spending,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.

 

“While some of what we saw in January is directly related to seasonal purchases, it’s encouraging to see spending on other discretionary items such as electronics also increased.”

 

January retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted over December and 7.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

 

Strength in spending came from grocery stores, health and personal care stores and electronics and appliance stores.

 

Clothing and clothing accessory stores sales decreased 0.3% seasonally adjusted over last month but increased 1.8% unadjusted year-over-year. Sales at grocery stores increased 1.4% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 3.8% unadjusted year-over-year.

 

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales decreased 1.3% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

 

Electronics and appliance stores sales increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted over December and decreased 0.7% unadjusted year-over-year. Sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 6.2% unadjusted over last year.

 

NRF will release its 2011 economist forecast Thursday, February 17.

 

About NRF

As the world's largest retail trade association, NRF has the unique ability to represent the full breadth and scope of the retail industry. NRF's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution including department stores, discount retailers, grocers, chain restaurants and drug stores.

 

Membership also includes industry partners from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. In the United States, NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com

 

 

 


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