Retail Sales Hitting Stride
March 28, 2005,
Picking up the pace and starting to sprint ahead moving into the new year, total U.S. retail sales climbed 0.5 percent during February, improving on a 0.3 percent increase recorded the month before, when post-holiday sales kicked into gear.
Excluding building supplies, home categories were strong performers, with electronics and appliances jumping 1.6 percent, improving on a 2 percent gain in January. Furniture and home furnishings increased 0.7 percent, building on a January gain of 0.9 percent.
The highly volatile measure of car sales — which moves in seasonal swings and fluctuates with price cuts and interest rate promotions — gained 0.7 percent, recovering from a steep 2.1 percent drop in January.
RETAIL SALES IN FEBRUARY
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Electronics & appliances||1.6%|
|Restaurants & bars||1.2|
|Clothing & accessories||1.1|
|Furniture & home furnishings||0.7|
|Health & personal care||0.3|
|Sporting goods, books, music||0.1|
|Building mat./garden supplies||-1.3|