Retailers rang up moderate sales increases in January, suggesting the economy is slowing from torrid fourth-quarter growth and inflation is not a threat for now.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that retail sales rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted $209.1 billion, from $207.9 billion in December.
An anemic 0.3 percent sales increase during December’s Christmas shopping season turned out to be just half what the government estimated a month ago, confirming the complaints of many merchants.
Many analysts expected the January rebound to be modest, saying it would reflect a slowdown in the overall economy from its sizzling 4.7 percent growth rate during the October-December quarter.
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