aNb Media News, January 22, 2015

Overall Holiday Sales Up, Says NRF

Overall holiday retail sales reached their highest level since 2011, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF says that December retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, decreased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and increased 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Total holiday retail sales, which include November and December sales, increased 4 percent to $616.1 billion, which was in line with NRF’s projected forecast of 4.1 percent growth. In addition, non-store holiday sales, which is an indicator of online and e-commerce sales, grew 6.8 percent to $101.9 billion, says the NRF.

The U.S. Commerce Department said this week that December retail sales decreased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year. The significant drop in gasoline prices in the month of December brought down much of the month-to-month growth.

“[These] holiday retail sales results are welcome news for our industry and for our economy,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay, in a statement. “There is every reason to believe that we have moved well beyond the days of consumer pessimism and that the trajectory for retailers continues to point up.”

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz added. “Preliminary holiday results affirm our initial belief that consumers going into the holiday season had the spending power necessary to give retail the shot in the arm it needed. While December’s figures are disappointing, holiday sales in 2014 are the best we’ve seen since 2011. We remain positive about the future and expect to see consumers continue to benefit from the extra income gained from an improved job market and the dramatic fall in gas prices. It is important to recognize 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.”

Additional findings from NRF’s analysis show:

• Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers:
-1.9 percent month-to-month
+7.3 percent year-over-year

• Clothing and clothing accessories stores:
-0.3 percent month-to-month
+4.4 percent year-over-year

• Electronics and appliance stores:
-1.6 percent month-to-month
+7.0 percent year-over-year

• Furniture and home furnishing stores:
+0.8 percent month-to-month
+8.1 percent year-over-year

• General merchandise stores:
-0.9 percent month-to-month
+0.9 percent year-over-year

• Health and personal care stores:
+0.5 percent month-to-month
+8.2 percent year-over-year

• Online and other non-store retailers:
-3.3 percent month-to-month
+7.7 percent year-over-year

• Sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores:
-0.2 percent month-to-month
+7.2 percent year-over-year

Who Filed the Most Patents in 2014?

IFI Claims Patent Services, the leading producer of global patent databases, analytic solutions, and web services, released its annual tabulation of the top U.S. patent recipients for 2014. The company has posted the official 2014 IFI Claims Top 50, a ranking of global companies and organizations to receive the most utility patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In 2014, annual U.S. patent grants increased by more than 8 percent reaching an all-time high of 300,674 and surpassing the 300,000 mark for the first time. IFI’s tabulation places IBM at the top of the list where it has been for 22 consecutive years. Garnering 7,534 patents and up 10.6 percent over 2013. Samsung is second with 4,952, up 5.9 percent; Canon is third, up 6 percent; Sony fourth, up 4 percent; and Microsoft fifth, up 6.3 percent.

A total of 19 U.S.-based companies appear on the 2014 IFI Claims Top 50, up from 18 in 2013 and 17 in 2011 and 2012. Google enters the Top 10 for the first time at position No. 8—up 38.6 percent—trailing No. 7 Qualcomm by just 21 patents and only 263 patents short of No. 5 Microsoft. Apple came in at No. 11, increasing its patent counts by 12.8 percent, just ahead of No. 12 General Electric and 92 patents short of No. 10 Panasonic.

Trending on TTPM: All Ages Video Games

TTPM is showcasing what’s trending in each specific product category. Today it’s All Ages Video Games. This trending list is determined by consumers. It’s the number of page views for that item in the previous 30 days and is updated every 24 hours.