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Thursday, September 19, 2019
HomeNewsEconomyRetail Sales Decline 0.2% in February, Up 2.7% Annual

Retail Sales Decline 0.2% in February, Up 2.7% Annual

Group of friends sitting outdoors with shopping bags; several people holding smartphones and tablets. (Photo: AdobeStock/ OneInchPunch/PPD)

Positive Revisions Might Become the Story for Retail Sales in 2019

Group of friends sitting outdoors with shopping bags; several people holding smartphones and tablets. (Photo: AdobeStock/ OneInchPunch/PPD)
Group of friends sitting outdoors with shopping bags; several people holding smartphones and tablets. (Photo: AdobeStock/ OneInchPunch/PPD)

U.S. retail sales for February came in at a seasonally adjusted $506.0 billion, down 0.2% (±0.5%) from December but 2.2% (±0.7%) above February 2018.

Retail sales excluding auto were down 0.4%, while less auto and gas were down 0.3%.

The consensus forecast was 0.3%, ranging from a low of 0.0% to a high of 1.1%. Less auto, the consensus forecast was 0.4%, ranging from a low of 0.0% to a high of 0.6%. Less auto and gas, the consensus forecast was also 0.4%, ranging from a low of 0.0% to a high of 0.6%.

However, overall retail sales for the year are up given revisions to previously-reported months of either weakness and/or declines.

Total sales for the period from December 2018 through February 2019 were up 2.2% (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The December 2018 to January 2019 percent change was revised from up 0.2% (±0.5%) to up 0.7% (±0.3%).

Retail trade sales were down 0.2% (±0.5%) from January 2019, but 2.1% (±0.5%) above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 10.0% (±1.8%) from February 2018, while health and personal care stores were up 5.9% (±2.5%) from last year.

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