4 out of 13 major retail categories showed gains in February while 8 declined and 1 was unchanged.
The biggest increases were recorded at: building material and garden equipment (1.8 percent from 1.2 percent in January); nonstore retailers (1.2 percent from 0.5 percent); health and personal care stores (0.7 percent from 0.9 percent) and furniture stores (0.7 percent from 2.4 percent).
By contrast, sales of motor vehicles dropped 0.2 percent (-1.3 percent in January) and at electronics and appliances stores fell 2.8 percent (1.1 percent in January), the biggest decline since December 2011. Also, sales declined for gasoline stations (-0.6 percent from 2.1 percent); clothing and clothing accessories (-0.5 percent from 1.2 percent); general merchandise stores (-0.2 percent from 0.5 percent); miscellaneous store retailers (-0.8 percent from -0.3 percent); food services and drinking places (-0.1 percent from 1.7 percent) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-0.4 percent from 1.4 percent).
Meanwhile, sales at food and beverage stores were flat.
The so-called core retail sales that exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, rose 0.1 percent after an upwardly revised 0.8 percent gain in January.
Compared to February last year retail sales were up 5.7 percent.