U.S. Retail Sales Stumble in February

Sales at retailers dropped last month. But the trend for consumer spending is still solid, and March looks strong

The February retail sales report revealed a drop in sales, but the decline followed a much larger and more broadbased surge in all of the major components in January, to leave the robust sales trajectory for the first quarter intact. Indeed, retail sales have registered a powerful uptrend ever since the November report of aggressive sales, due partly to the extraordinarily mild weather. A return to normal weather in February took a chunk back, but a surprisingly small one.

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