Monthly sales hold steady

NAICS 444 sales for February are up over last year.

The Commerce Department released monthly sales for various industry segments, and hardware stores, home centers, lumberyards did better than most.

On an unadjusted basis, NAICS 444 sales came in at $34.014 billion in February, down slightly from $34.137 in January but way up from $29.605 billion in February of 2021.

444 chart

NAICS 444, or building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, showed a larger year-over-year increase (14.8 percent), than retailers of furniture (7.4 percent), electronics (2.6 percent), food & beverage. (7.9 percent), health and personal care. (8.9 percent) and sporting goods (2.8. percent).

NAICS 444 also grew faster nonstore retailers (13.8 percent).

A couple of retail classifications produced big gains. Gasoline stations jumped 36.4 percent in February over January. And clothing stores increased 30.6 percent.

The National Retail Federation pointed out that retail sales showed a strong year-over-year gain in February, but the monthly pace slowed compared with January as inflation drove up prices and lingering effects of the COVID-19 omicron variant affected the supply chain.

“Retail sales data continues to show impressive consumer resilience,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Despite all that’s been thrown at them including inflation, supply chain constraints, market volatility and significant geopolitical events, consumers remain able and willing to spend. Retailers are nimble and are dedicated to serving their customers with great experiences, great products and services at the best possible prices they can. Our outlook remains constructive, with solid retail sales growth for all of 2022 increasing by 6 percent to 8 percent. Consumer financial health can continue if current pressures in the economy are moderated by sound policy decisions that do not compound the challenges our economy is already facing.”