U.S. retail sales took an unexpected dip in February. But in better news, sales were revised upwards for January.
Retail sales were down 0.7% in February seasonally adjusted from January but up 2.7%unadjusted year-over-year as delays and revisions related to the government shutdown continued to make comparisons difficult, the National Retail Federation said. The NRF numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“The weaker-than-expected February retail sales numbers reflect colder weather and increased precipitation that kept shoppers home but were also skewed downward because of the government’s upward revision in January’s results,” stated NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The aftereffects of the erratic stock market, the government shutdown and slower tax refunds this year also likely played a role.”
NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said that overall February sales – including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants – were down 0.2% seasonally adjusted from January (but up 2.2% unadjusted year-over-year.” Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 0.3%…