U.S. Core Retail Sales Experience Mild Growth as Clothing Sales Plunge

It was revealed Friday that U.S. consumer spending appears to have slowed further in January, with sales at clothing stores declining by the most since 2009, which could raise concerns about the economy’s ability to continue expanding at a moderate pace.

Figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department showed retail sales excluding autos, gasoline, building materials and food services were unchanged last month. Data for December was revised down to show the so-called core retail sales rising 0.2% instead of jumping 0.5% as previously reported.

Core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

Economists had forecast core retail sales rising 0.3% last month.