NEW YORK: A dismal US holiday season has been followed by a bleaker-than-expected new year for retail sales.

The International Council of Shopping Centers reports that January sales were the worst on record since it began tracking same-store sales in 1969.

Sales across the US grew just 0.5% year-on-year and the prospects for February are no brighter.

Comments ICSC chief economist and director of research Michael Niemira: "With uncertainty about the economy and the possibility of a recession, consumers have pared their spending . . . We expect much of the same, as US economic problems do not seem to be dissipating anytime soon."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff