Retail sales eked out a gain slightly in January
Retail sales ticked up 0.3 percent in January as consumers adjusted their spending in response to the increase in payroll taxes and rise in gasoline and energy prices, the National Retail Federation reported Wednesday.
“Today’s retail sales figures continue to indicate a stable yet fragile economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are continuing to hold back on spending just as our economy is held back by political brinkmanship in D.C.
“The failure to address the critical challenges confronting our economy will continue to dampen consumer confidence, which will in turn mute sales and growth,” Shay added. “The economy will continue to limp along until our politicians finally address our tax and spending challenges and put forward a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda.”
In late January, the trade group released its annual retail sales forecast for 2013. It estimates that retail industry sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, will rise 3.4 percent in 2013, with online sales set to grow between 9 and 12 percent.