According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, U.S. retail sales inched up 0.2% in January 2016 compared to December 2015. When compared year over year to January 2015, the sales were up 3.4%.
While department stores were down almost 1% for the month of January, they performed worse on a yearly basis (down 3.8% since January 2015).
During January, most retail categories recorded sales increases, including autos, electronics, building materials, food and beverage, clothes, general merchandise and non-store (Internet) sales. Those that showed decreases were department stores (down 0.8% for the month), sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (down 2.1%), furniture stores (down 0.5 %).
When looked at against January 2015, most retail categories are still coming out ahead year over year: Car sales +6.9%; furniture sales +4%; grocery store sales +2.3%, with sport goods, hobby and book stores +9.1 percent.
Internet sales continued their upward growth, demonstrating an 8.7 % increase for this year over last.