Saturday, October 25th8.6°C
23711

US retail sales up 0.3 per cent in February; sign economy is recovering from harsh winter

WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales bounced back in February after suffering a steep decline during a bitterly cold January. Shoppers spent more on autos, clothing and furniture.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in February. Spending had fallen 0.6 per cent in January, revised down from the 0.4 per cent decline initially reported. Retail spending also fell 0.3 per cent in December.

The increase suggests that consumer spending has started to recover after being tempered by snowstorms and freezing temperatures that blanketed much of the country.

Auto sales rose 0.3 per cent. Excluding volatile spending on autos, gas and building supplies, retail sales increased 0.3 per cent from December.

Last month's rebound almost brought retail spending back to its December levels. Purchases at restaurants, online retailers and department stores also improved, although the economy has yet to fully shake off winter's impact.

Over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen a modest 1.5 per cent.

The retail report offers a first look at February's consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of all economic activity. Many economists came into 2014 projecting that stronger consumer spending would cause growth to accelerate, only to find those estimates frustrated by the freezing weather across much of the country.

The February employment report also suggested that the overall economy has recovered momentum. Employers added 175,000 jobs last month after weak gains in the previous two months.

But the improvement in retail spending has not led yet to more work at stores. Retailers cut 4,100 workers in February. The losses were concentrated in electronics, department, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.

Separate sales reports by auto companies indicate that consumer demand may improve in the spring. Consumers bought just under 1.2 million new cars and trucks in February, according to motor vehicle makers. That follows a 3 per cent drop in January— the first year-over-year decline since August 2010.

General Motors, Ford and Toyota each reported sales declines for February. The country's top three automakers said sales began to recover in the second half of last month, when the weather improved.

So far this year, new vehicle sales have been on pace to reach a little more than 15 million for the year. In 2014, the industry sold 15.6 million cars and trucks. Economists forecast that auto purchases will approach 16 million this year.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23833


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14543.82+56.99
S&P CDNX805.45-3.15
DJIA16805.41127.51
Nasdaq4483.715+30.923
S&P 5001964.58+13.76
CDN Dollar0.8901-0.0003
Gold1231.20+2.10
Oil81.02-0.73
Lumber336.40+6.80
Natural Gas3.631+0.009

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.105-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.07+0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.194-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.045+0.005
Russel Metals33.39+0.23
Copper Mountain Mining2.03-0.05
Colorado Resources0.145+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.012-0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.445+0.035

 





FEATURED Property
2083931#9 3365 Casorso Road,
$384,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


What I learned in China

Photo: ContributedI will never be an expert on China. It is just too big, too complex and too old with layers of history and meaning that would take several lifetimes to unravel. As I said to my hosts...


We can get on together

I was in LA this week. I witnessed such crazy and unusual circumstances as I strolled along Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. A far cry from sleepy Peachland in the Okanagan! The strange thing was, I f...


Weakening global growth worries

The Big Picture Growth worries persist Worries about weakening global growth and its potential impact on the US economic recovery roiled markets around the globe this week. Europe continues to be the ...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22707