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January retail sales

January Retail Sales Soar Despite Omicron, Inflation

Even in light of the COVID-19 omicron variant, inflation and continuing supply chain and labor issues, retail sales jumped in January, according to numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall retail sales in January were up 3.8 percent seasonally adjusted from December and up 13 percent year-over-year. 

The improvement comes after December sales were down 2.5 percent from November. With the exception of occasional month-over-month declines, sales have grown year-over-year every month since June 2020.

“January’s numbers show that 2022 is starting very strong for consumers and retailers, especially on the heels of a record holiday season and record sales in 2021,” National Retail Federation (NRF) president and CEO Matthew Shay says. “While the year ahead has challenges with inflationary pressures, labor shortages, COVID-19 impacts and uncertainty related to international tensions in Russia and China, today’s numbers show that despite these concerns, consumers are spending, and the economy remains in good shape.”

NRF shared its own calculations, taking out sales from gas stations, restaurants and auto dealers to focus on core retail. It found January retail sales were up 4.7 percent seasonally adjusted and 8.5 percent year-over-year. Building materials and garden supply stores were up 4.1 percent month-over-month and 12.7 percent year-over-year. 

Read a recap of NRF’s Retail’s Big Show held in January and discover the trends in retail for 2022, plus insights from industry experts.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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