7 of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month decreases: motor vehicle & parts dealers (-0.9 percent, the same as in January); gasoline stations (-1.2 percent vs 1.9 percent); furniture & home furniture stores (-0.8 percent vs -0.3 percent); health & personal care stores (-0.4 percent vs -0.2 percent); electronics & appliance stores (-0.1 percent vs 1.1 percent); food & beverage stores (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent); and general merchandise stores (-0.4 percent vs 0.4 percent).
Meanwhile, sales at gardening and building material stores surged 1.9 percent, recovering from a 1.7 percent decline in January. Additional upward pressure came from: sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores (2.2 percent vs -1.5 percent); clothing & clothing accessories stores (0.4 percent vs 0.9 percent); miscellaneous store retailers (0.1 percent vs 3.5 percent); nonstore retailers (1 percent vs -0.9 percent); and food services & drinking places (0.2 percent vs 0.1 percent).
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales edged up 0.1 percent last month after being unchanged in January.
Year-on-year, retail trade grew 4 percent in February, compared with a 3.9 percent rise in January.