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NRF: Retail Index Up Last Month

The Retail Sector Performance Index (RSPI) rose 5.3 points to 55.6 in February after four straight months of declining numbers, according to the results of the February NRF Retail Executive Opinion Survey.

According to the NRF, retail executives said that customer sales and traffic bounced back significantly last month, increasing the Current Demand Index by 13.8 points to 59.2. Pricing power also stabilized in February, the survey concluded, with the pricing index rising 15 points to 40. Operations, which include inventory levels and employment, remained steady at 52.5.

The Demand Outlook (a six-month outlook for sales) rose to 55, a slight increase over January but significantly lower than the 68.8 reading in February 2004.

The RSPI measures retail executives' evaluations of monthly sales, customer traffic, the average transaction per customer, employment, inventories and a six-month-ahead sales outlook expectation. The RSPI is based on a scale of 0.0-100.0 with 50.0 equaling normal.

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