Restaurants: Suprising Growth

U.S. Retail Industry Posts Surprising Growth in Early 2009

According to a recent NRF press release, January retail sales—excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants—grew 0.5 percent compared to December (seasonally adjusted). However, compared to January 2008, retail sales were down 2.1 percent.

U.S. Commerce Department data indicates January retail sales—including automobiles, gas stations and restaurants—increased one percent over December, but compared to one year ago, sales are down nine percent. Economic experts at the NRF anticipate retailers to face challenging conditions in the first half of 2009.

Conditions will be especially exigent for certain retail establishments such as electronic and appliance stores as well as clothing retailers, which are experiencing declining sales at the moment. General merchandise stores, on the other hand, are realizing positive sales as consumers continue purchasing the essentials and focus on value.