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U.S.: Furniture retail rebounded strongly overall in January

[Feb 17, 2023]

The monthly estimate of the US Department of Commerce shows that year-over-year and compared with December, the sales of furniture and home furnishings showed signs of recovery, which is a good start for the retail industry.

For the month, the furniture category recorded an adjusted $12.252 billion in sales, which was up 3.8% compared with January 2022’s $11.804 billion and a gain of 4.4% vs. December’s $11.735 billion. While the growth is still below the rate of inflation, it represents a shift in momentum after a couple of months of sales declines.

The overall retail snapshot shows a similar trend. Sales across all categories came in at an adjusted $696.982 billion, up 6.4% from January 2022’s $655.154 billion and 3.0% compared with December’s $676.925 billion.

Almost all categories showed month-over-month increases in January, with several joining furniture and home furnishings in beating the overall retail category’s 3% increase. Food services and drinking places led the way, up 7.2%, with motor vehicle and parts dealers up 5.9%. Electronics and appliance stores were up 3.5%, and general merchandise stores rose 3.2%. Gas stations were essentially flat for the month, making the category the month’s lone outlier.

The DOC’s advance estimates are based on a sub-sample of the U.S. Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,500 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of more than 3 million retail and food services firms.