WASHINGTON, February 12, 2024 – Retail sales showed a strong beginning for the year in January, nearly matching December’s busy holiday spending and rising significantly year over year, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, powered by Affinity Solutions, released today by the National Retail Federation. Click here to access January’s retail data.
“January sales continued the strong performance of retail sales in December, which is impressive coming off a record holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “More importantly, year-over-year growth was solid, showing consumers are still optimistic and willing to act on the spending power brought by growing employment and wages. This is a great start to the new year.”
Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were down just 0.16% seasonally adjusted month over month and up 2.34% unadjusted year over year in January, according to the Retail Monitor. That compared with increases of 0.44% month over month and 3.07% year over year in December.
The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales – excluding restaurants in addition to autos and gas – was down a slim 0.04% month over month and up 3.24% year over year in January. That compared with increases of 0.19% month over month and 2.4 year over year in December.
This is the fourth month that the Retail Monitor, which was launched in November, has provided data on monthly retail sales. Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual, anonymized credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity Solutions and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.
January sales were up in six out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and clothing and accessory stores, and up in five categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:
- Online and other non-store sales were up 0.68% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 25.47% year over year unadjusted.
- Health and personal care stores were up 0.51% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 9.7% year over year unadjusted.
- Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.52% month over month and up 5.9% year over year unadjusted.
- Grocery and beverage stores were down 0.2% month over month but up 4.06% year over year unadjusted.
- Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were down 0.65% month over month seasonally adjusted but up 1.79% year over year unadjusted.
- General merchandise stores were down 0.64% month over month seasonally adjusted but up 1.14% year over year unadjusted.
- Building and garden supply stores were up 0.48% month over month but down 1.55% year over year unadjusted.
- Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.34% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 4.21% year over year unadjusted.
- Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.97% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 6.35% year over year unadjusted.
To learn more, visit nrf.com/crci.
As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF provides data on retail sales each month and also forecasts annual retail sales and spending for key periods such as the holiday season each year.
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. nrf.com
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About Affinity Solutions
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a complete view of U.S. and U.K. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into privacy-compliant, actionable intelligence for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive strategic growth and lasting customer relationships. Visit us at www.affinitysolutions.com to discover how we’re shaping the future of consumer purchase insights.
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