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January Was Rough On CE Retailers: Feds

Retail sales for CE and appliance dealers fell 4.2 percent last month, to $8.5 billion, and were flat from December, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.

The downturn is likely related in part to the calendar shift for Super Bowl, which pushed TV sales into February, and to last month’s spate of extreme winter weather across much of the nation.

Yet furniture stores fared better, up 4 percent for the month, while e-tailers and other direct sellers saw sell-through rise 8.7 percent year over year.

Total retail sales excluding food services and automotive were up 3.1 percent in January.

The National Retail Federation is projecting the same level of sales growth — 3.1 percent — for all of 2016.

The government figures are preliminary estimates and were adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.