Retail sales up 0.3% in February

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales came in at $427.2 billion for the month of February, up 0.3% since January and 1.5% since February 2013.

The progress of retail trade sales matched those of the overall figure at 0.3%, with nonstore retailers up 6.3% year-over-year and health and personal care stores up 5.5% since last year.

Building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers posted the next-strongest year-over-year recovery, with sales improving 3.2% since February 2013 and 0.3% since last month.

Some categories fared a bit worse on year-ago terms, including department stores (-4.8%), sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-5.2%), gasoline stations (-4.6%) and electronics and appliance stores (-2.4%).

Additionally, the overall December 2013 to January 2014 percent change was downwardly revised from -0.4% to -0.6%.

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