System-wide sales rose 9.1%, or 4.3% in constant currencies, for the month.
As the company pointed out, its U.S. performance in January still outpaced that of the QSR sector as a whole.
McDonald's saw its first declines in U.S. comparable sales since March 2008 last October and November (down 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively), as unemployment continued to erode consumer out-of-home dining at breakfast, in particular.
However, U.S. comp sales were back to a positive 1% in December, as McDonald's' dual strategy kicked in. The chain has combined heavy marketing of its Dollar menu for budget appeal with the launch of more upscale offerings appealing to consumers trading down from fast casual/casual formats (such as McCafé beverages and the Angus Third Pounder).
McDonald's' full-year 2009 U.S.
same-store sales rose 2.6%. Its global full-year same-store sales rose 3.8%, including gains of 5.2% in Europe and 3.4% in the Asia-Pacific/Middle East/Africa region. --Karlene Lukovitz