The Department of Commerce released its monthly report [opens in PDF] on total domestic retail and food services sales today, reporting a month-to-month increase of 0.1% in January.

While the advance doesn't sound like much, the $416.6 billion spent in the area is 4.4% higher than the January 2012 figure. Sales from auto and other motor vehicle dealers rose more markedly, advancing 9.4% over January 2012. Nonstore retailers were up 15.7% from January 2012.

The January bump follows a 0.5% increase from November to December.

Statistics are not necessarily exact, and may vary or be amended in coming months. The Commerce Department polled more than 5,000 retail and food services firms and subsequently weighted, benchmarked, and extrapolated the data to be representative of the more than 3 million retail and food services firms in the U.S.

The next monthly report of this type is slated to be released March 13.


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