U.S. retailers rang up their largest increase in sales in more than a year in January, rebounding strongly after six straight months of sharp declines, the Commerce Department reported. Retail sales increased 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis in January, the first increase since June and the largest percentage increase since November 2007. The gain was unexpected, with economists surveyed by MarketWatch looking for a decline of 0.4%.
Retail sales are down 9.7% in the past year. The government data showed most retail sectors enjoyed increased sales in January compared with December.