The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $344.6 billion, an increase of 1.0 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, but 9.7 percent (±0.7%) below January 2008. Total sales for the November 2008 through January 2009 period were down 9.5 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The November to December 2008 percent change was revised from –2.7 percent (±0.5%) to –3.0 percent (±0.2%). Retail trade sales were up 1.1 percent (±0.7%) from December 2008, but were 11.0 percent (±0.7%) below last year.
A statistical mirage? Many pundits think so — click here.