US retail sales rise just 0.2% in January as consumers remain cautious - Recent News from USA
A Target worker helps a customer at a Target store in San Rafael, California. 

US retail sales rise just 0.2% in January as consumers remain cautious

A Target worker helps a customer at a Target store in San Rafael, California. 

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

A Target worker helps a customer at a Target store in San Rafael, California. 

U.S. retail sales rose slightly in January after a sharp drop in December, reflecting caution taken by consumers amid a government shutdown and volatile stock market.

The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales increased just 0.2 percent, after a sharp fall of 1.6 percent in December, the biggest drop in nine years.

The economy has stumbled after healthy growth last summer and fall. Weaker economies overseas, the U.S.-China trade fight, and the 35-day government shutdown dented consumer and business confidence. Economists believe growth could fall below a 1 percent annual rate in the first three months of this year.

In January, auto sales plunged by the most in five years, and furniture and electronics stores sales also declined.

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