8 of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month gains.
Receipts at online and mail-order retail sales rebounded by 2.6 percent, the biggest gain since December 2017, after declining 5.0 percent in December. Also, sales at building material stores went up 3.3 percent, the most since September 2017, following a 0.5 percent increase in December. In addition, receipts at hobby, musical instrument and book stores rose 4.8 percent, the largest gain since January 2013, recovering from a 6.1 percent fall in December. At the same time, sales rebounded at miscellaneous stores (0.1 percent vs -5.3 percent); food & beverage (1.1 percent vs -0.3 percent); health & personal care (1.6 percent vs -2.3 percent); and general merchandise (0.8 percent vs -1.5 percent). Also, spending decreased at a softer pace at: furniture & home furniture stores (-1.2 percent vs -1.3 percent); electronics & appliance (-0.3 percent vs -1.2 percent); and service stations (-2.0 percent vs -5.7 percent).
Meanwhile, receipts at auto dealerships decreased 2.4 percent, the biggest drop since January 2014, after rising 0.3 percent in the previous month and sales dropped further at clothing and furniture stores (-1.3 percent vs -1.2 percent).
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rebounded 1.1 percent in January after a downwardly revised 2.3 percent plunge in December. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of GDP.
Year-on-year, retail trade grew 2.3 percent, following a downwardly revised 1.6 percent gain in the prior month.