Retail sales in the United States were up slightly in January 2013, with consumers adjusting spending to higher payroll taxes and rising gas prices, according to the National Retail Federation.
Government data showed that electronics and appliance store sales were up 0.2%, seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, and were up 2.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
January overall retail sales (not including cars, gas stations, and restaurants) were up 0.3% seasonally adjusted from December and were up 5.4% unadjusted from January 2012.
"Consumers are continuing to hold back on spending just as our economy is held back by political brinkmanship in D.C.," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "The failure to address the critical challenges confronting our economy will continue to dampen consumer confidence, which will in turn mute sales and growth. 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."
NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz sees some return of consumer confidence, motivated by healthier housing prices, better employment news, and historic highs on Wall Street in December and January. Still, he characterized that confidence as "far from secure."
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