Retail sales up 1.1% in February
March 13, 2012
U.S. retail and food services sales for February were $407.8 billion, an increase of 1.1% from January and 6.5% above February 2011, according to advance estimates from the U.S. Census Burea. Total sales for the December 2011 through February 2012 period were up 6.4% from the same period a year ago.
Retail trade sales were up 1.1% from January 2012 and 6.3% above last year. Undoubtedly as a result, at least in part, of unseasonably mild weather across the nation this winter, building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sales were up 13.8% from February 2011. Gasoline stations’ sales were up 10.3% primarily due to higher gasoline prices. The Census Bureau numbers are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes. The only category of retail establishment where sales were lower year-over-year in February were electronics and appliances stores, where sales were down 1.4%.
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