Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Total retail sales rose 0.3 percent (nonannualized) in February, surprising estimates of a slight decline. Perhaps even more impressive was the overall gain came as autos tumbled down 2.0 percent during the month. Excluding autos, retail sales jumped up 0.8 percent in February and are up 4.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Moreover, sales rose in every broad category except for autos and health and personal care stores. Increases were led by strong gains at electronics and appliance stores (up 3.7 percent) and miscellaneous retailers (up 2.5 percent). An addendum measure meant to get at “core” retail sales—sales excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations—jumped up 0.9 percent in February, leading to an increase in its 3-month annualized growth rate, which improved from 4.9 percent to a relatively strong 5.2 percent in January. Over the past 12 months, the series is up 2.5 percent.