Consumers were more willing to spend money last month as retail sales increased 0.5%, the Commerce Department reported today.
January's figures were 4.7% higher than those of January 2009. Total sales from November 2009 through January 2010 were 4.3% higher than the same period a year ago.
Total retail and food sales in January were $355 billion, compared with $354 billion in December and $339.7 billion in January 2009.
January's numbers showed a 0.6% increase in non-automobile sales from December, but that number represented a 4.6% increase from January 2009.
There was no change in automobiles and automobile parts sales from December and there was a 5.5% increase from January 2009.
These retail establishments had increased sales in January: electronics, food and beverage, grocery, health/personal care, clothing, sporting goods, general merchandise, non-store retailers and restaurants/bars.
These retail establishments experienced declines: furniture/home furnishings, building material, and miscellaneous sores.