January 14, 2014

Modest growth in December's retail sales

Jan. 15, 2014 – Retail sales resumed a modest pace at the end of the holiday shopping season, totaling just 0.2 percent in December, NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long said.

Long said the severe weather in December also contributed to weaker sales in the automotive and housing-related sectors. "Total retail sales growth has varied throughout the year as different segments led sales each month," Long said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. "Retail sales are expected to build some momentum next year as the fiscal drag recedes and the economy strengthens."

November's retail sales numbers were revised to an increase of 0.4 percent.

Core retail sales – excluding light vehicles and gasoline – increased by 0.6 percent for December, while retail sales of auto and gas decreased 0.7 percent for the month.

Year-over-year growth in retail sales was 4.2 percent in December. The November number was revised to 4.2 percent growth. Core retail sales increased by 4.1 percent from a year ago while auto and gas increased by 4.3 percent from a year ago.