Home outpaces overall retail sales
March 25, 2002,
Despite a persistently weak retail environment and broad-based uncertainty about the economic and jobs outlook, American consumers kept spending money to dress up their homes last month, the Commerce Department reported, and sales of home-related goods dramatically outpaced spending in other retail channels.
Another home-related category, electronics and appliances, zoomed up as well in February, with sales advancing by 1.1 percent. Propelled in part by strong sales of DVD players, sales in the electronics channel have shot up by 8.4 percent from year-before levels.
Another segment of home — home improvement and garden stores — fared somewhat less well, however, as consumers opted to buy rather than do it themselves.
Big-ticket auto sales advanced a modest 0.4 percent, without the help of the zero-interest-financing deals that had propped up the market earlier. And suffering from a mild case of the post-holiday blahs, apparel sales slipped back by 0.1 percent.
Retail Sales in February (by channel)
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Furniture & home furnishings||+1.5%|
|Electronics & appliance stores||+1.1|
|Restaurants & bars||+1.1|
|Building materials & garden supplies||-0.4%|
|Dept. stores, chains & discounters||-0.3|
|Food & beverage stores||-0.2|
|Health & personal care stores||-0.1|
|Clothing & accessories||-0.1|