Home Trailed in Holidays
January 30, 2006,
Washington — Given a boost by a year-end pickup in car sales, U.S. retail sales improved by 0.7 percent in December, climbing to $357.8 billion, the Commerce Department reported.
A big December gainer was the stocking-stuffer channel, as volume in book, music and sporting goods stores climbed by 1.5 percent. But clothing and accessories were a non-starter, unchanged from the month before. Another big gainer for the month was gas station nation, where sales jumped up by 0.9 percent, reflecting higher prices at the pump.
Restaurants and bars were strong, rising by 0.5 percent. And as shoppers continued to click their way to the dotcoms, sales at non-store retailers rose by 0.5 percent.
Sales in furniture outlets and home furnishings stores slipped by 0.1 percent, along with electronics and appliance store retailers.
Retail Sales in December
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Sporting goods, books||1.5|
|Restaurants & bars||0.5|
|Health & personal care||0.3|
|Furn./home furn. stores||-0.1|
|Electronics & appliances||-0.5|