US retail sales ex-automobiles rose slightly in January after a sharp drop in December, reflecting cautious optimism taken by consumers after athe 35 day partial government shutdown.
The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales increased just 0.2%, after a sharp fall of 1.6% in December, the biggest US decliner in 9 years.
The economy has slowed after strong growth last Summer and Fall.
Weaker economies overseas, the US-China trade dispute, and the 35-day government shutdown dampened consumer and business confidence.
Economists believe growth could fall below a 1% annual rate in the 1st 3 months of this year.
In January, automobile sales fell by the most in 5 years, and furniture and electronics stores sales also declined.
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