NEW YORK—The MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report on retail sales said today that January was up 4.6 percent over the previous year, a little bit slower than December and November. According to the report, e-commerce, luxury and apparel all did well in January.
“Overall, retail spending managed to maintain its momentum following an already-strong holiday season,” commented director of economic research Kamalesh Rao. “Despite some very challenging weather conditions in many parts of the country, and unemployment numbers that have not yet improved significantly, during the last two months we saw the strongest growth rate for total U.S. retail sales ex-autos since April 2010. Further, the year-to-year growth for 3-month totals stood at 4.9 percent in January, the highest growth rate since August 2007.”