Retail sales were up again in February as consumers continue to shop despite on-going challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in February were up 6.3% year-over-year. The increase follows January when year-over-year sales were up 9.5%.
“Looking forward to the spring and with consumer confidence at its highest level since last March, we remain optimistic that retail will help facilitate a surge in spending, job growth and capital investment in the second half of the year as more Americans are vaccinated and local economies reopen nationwide,” said Matthew Shay, president/CEO for the National Retail Federation.
Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s Chief Economist, added that February results confirm that consumers are willing to spend as the current health crisis continues to show improvement.
“With another round of stimulus checks being mailed right now, we expect another large boost in consumer spending over the next few months,” he said.
Specifics from key retail sectors include:
- Online and other non-store sales were up 23.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Building materials and garden supply stores were up 11.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
- General merchandise stores were unchanged unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliance stores were down 6.7% unadjusted year-over-year.