11 out of 13 major retail categories showed gains in January while 2 declined.
The biggest increases were recorded at: Gasoline stations (2.3 percent from 3.2 percent in December); sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (1.8 percent from -0.2 percent); food services and drinking places (1.4 percent from -1.1 percent); electronics and appliance stores (1.6 percent from -1.1 percent).
By contrast, sales of motor vehicles dropped 1.4 percent, the biggest decline in 10 months, after rising by 3.2 percent in December.
The so-called core retail sales that exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, rose 0.4 percent after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent gain in December.
Compared to January last year retail sales were up 5.6 percent.