Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores grew 3.8% year-on-year

Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores grew 3.8% year-on-year

December proved to be a mixed month for US retailers, particular clothing chains, which saw sales fall when compared to November, but posted year-on-year growth.

The latest figures from the US Commerce Department, which includes cars, gasoline and restaurants, found December retail sales fell 1.1% from November, but were up 2.6% from December 2013.

Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores edged down 0.3% month-on-month, but grew 3.8% from the prior December.

At general merchandise stores, sales dropped 0.9% from November, but increased 1.4% year-on-year. Department stores saw sales fall 0.2% month-on-month, and decline 0.6% from December 2013. For sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, sales edged down 0.2% from November, but were up 4.8% year-on-year.

Separate data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) which excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, found overall retail sales edged down 0.9% month-on-month, but increased 4.6% on December 2013.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said while December's figures are "disappointing", the association remains positive about the future, and expects consumers to continue to benefit from the extra income gained from an improved job market and the dramatic fall in gas prices.

"It is important to recognise that December is a very difficult month to adjust for seasonal forces because of holiday spending and this could explain in part this month's volatility," he added.