Washington — December sales for CE and appliance retailers rose 1.3 percent to $8.4 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.
However, sales slid 0.6 percent from November the agency said, confirming reports from retailers of a strong start to the holiday season and a weaker finish in December.
By comparison, total retail sales, excluding restaurants and automotive, rose 4.4 percent in December year over year, while sales for e-tailers and other direct sellers increased 12.6 percent.
The sales figures were adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
“Total December sales could not make up for shortfalls in certain categories like electronics,” observed Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation (NRF). “Heading into 2013, consumers could continue to think twice about their discretionary purchases as they face decreases in their paychecks and other concerns with their household budgets.”