WASHINGTON–Retailers selling home goods saw the biggest sales declines during January, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores fell 4.3 percent unadjusted over last year and 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from last month.
Total retail sales in January inched up 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from last month and 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the Commerce Department reported.
“The January numbers are indicative of the issues consumers are facing, including the housing slump, a sluggish employment sector and high energy prices,” said National Retail Federation chief economist Rosalind Wells in a statement. “We expect to see marginal improvements in the second half of the year once consumers begin to receive their rebate checks.”