Flat US sales expected for January

By Patrick Garratt
11 February 2008 17:43 GMT

Analysts are predicting less than stellar figures for the American market in January prior to the release of data this week, with Jesse Divnich of simExchange predicting sales of $519 million, a year on year drop of 5.46 percent. Although the figures could be interpreted negatively, Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian said the news is down to a shorter month and shouldn’t be taken to heart.

“Importantly, we do not believe slower growth should be interpreted as weaker consumer spending, as our channel checks indicate generally healthy sales trends at retail. On an ‘apples-to-apples’ basis, adjusting for the extra week in 2007, we estimate that January sales would be up modestly,” he said. “In addition, we expect improving growth trends into the spring with a more robust software release schedule (e.g., Devil May Cry, Super Smash Bros., and GTA IV).”

Divnich noted that a fifth week in January probably would have led to sales of $648 million, which would represent an 18 percent increase.

More here.

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