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Retail Sales Of CE, Majaps Rose In January

Washington — Brown- and white-goods dealers enjoyed solid single-digit sales gains in January, according to the latest retail sales figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Unadjusted year-over-year sales for CE, PC and major appliance specialty stores increased 5.1 percent last month and decreased 1.2 percent from December, the government sales data showed.

But according to retail analyst Matthew Fassler of Goldman Sachs, the sales results actually decelerated sharply when seasonally adjusted, to 3.5 percent growth year-over-year, down from 12.6 percent in December. The issue, he observed in a research note, was a stiff year-ago comparison of 11.1 percent, which he described as the “toughest compare of the year.”

Fassler said comparisons will become considerably easier after January, when year-ago comps for brown- and white-goods dealers fall to the mid-single digit range for most of 2007.