ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail sales grew again in January for the seventh straight month, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
Monthly retail sales figures for January were up 0.3 percent over December and 7.8 percent over January 2010. Retail sales excluding auto sales were up 0.3 percent over the previous month and 6.2 percent over January 2010.
Consumers overcame the challenges presented by bad weather across the U.S. in January to drive retail up slightly in January.
"The continued growth in consumer spending, particularly following a strong holiday shopping season, is welcome news to the retail industry," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "As retailers restock for springtime, they do so with confidence that the recent growth will continue."
Consumer spending has steadily been improving for more than a year and the 2010 holiday season was the strongest for retailers since before the recession. High unemployment remains the biggest drag on the economy. As the labor situation improves, so will consumer spending.
"The improved forecast means retailers can begin shifting their attention back to the growth plans that were on hold during the recent recession," Kennedy concluded.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association