The U.S. Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February were $387.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. That's up 1.0% from $383.4 billion in the previous month, and up 8.2% from $355.6 billion in the same month last year.
Total sales for the December 2010 through February 2011 period were up 8.2% from the same period a year ago.
Looking specifically at NAICS classification 444 -- Building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers -- advanced sales for February were $24.835 billion; that's up 0.5% from $24.687 billion in January, and up 10.9% from $22.384 billion in February 2010.
The Advance Monthly Sales report also revealed general retail trade sales were up 0.9% from January 2011, and up 9.5% compared with last year. Consumers are also spending more at gasoline stations -- up 12.9% from last year.
All the figures above are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.