WASHINGTON — Apparel and accessories stores, department stores and discounters all posted sales declines in January, the Commerce Department’s monthly sales report showed Thursday.

Apparel and accessories stores posted a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent drop in sales to $20.9 billion compared with December, while department stores posted a 1.5 percent decline in sales to $14.1 billion. General merchandise stores, a category that includes discounters and department stores, saw a 0.1 percent decline in sales to $54.9 billion.

In the overall economy, retail sales fell 0.4 percent to $427.8 billion, largely driven by a 2.3 percent decline in automobile sales.

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