US retail sales for the month of January 2013 increased 5.4% when compared to the corresponding month in 2012.

The sales figures increased 0.3% on a month-on-month basis, representing a third consecutive month of sales increase, said The National Retail Federation (NRF).

NRF, however, maintained that the modest monthly growth was due to the decreased consumer spending in response to the increase in payroll taxes and rise in gasoline and energy prices.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay remarked that the figures project a stable yet fragile economy and urged lawmakers to take necessary action at the earliest.

"Consumers are continuing to hold back on spending just as our economy is held back by political brinkmanship in D.C. The economy will continue to limp along until our politicians finally address our tax and spending challenges and put forward a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda," cautioned Shay.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores sales and furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales posted the highest yearly increase of 5.9% and 5.8% respectively while those at general merchandise stores declined 0.3%.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz noted, "Even though retail sales were relatively modest in January, consumers seem to have adjusted accordingly to rising taxes and energy prices. Far from secure, consumer confidence continues to be shaky."

Figures published by the US Department Of Commerce showed that total retail and food services sales had increased 4.7% year-on-year while monthly increased remained almost flat at 0.1%.