Washington – The increase could be a sign of a reviving economy after severe winter weather slowed consumer demand.
Washington – U.S. retail sales in February increased for the first time in three months, following a 0.6 percent drop in January, according to the Commerce Department. The 0.3 percent increase was higher than predicted in a median forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg; they had predicted a 0.2 percent rise in consumer purchases. According to Bloomberg, the rebound in retail sales found nine of 13 major categories showing increase. The largest gains were made by non-store retailers, such as online merchants, which saw purchases increase 1.2 percent in February, the largest rise since July 2013. Department stores, however, did show a gain of 0.7 percent. The retail sales figures used to calculate gross domestic product, including food services, auto detailers and service stations saw a 0.3 percent increase. Some retailers, such as Macy’s, surmised that the increase was due in part to the return of warmer weather, bringing consumers out of their houses and back into stores.
— Scott Reid