Retail sales increase slightly

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U.S. retail sales beat analysts expectations for the second straight month, according to the National Retail Federation.

The NRF report noted that retail sales rose .6 percent seasonally adjusted from January. Meanwhile, January’s sales figures were revised up from .5 percent growth to 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month.
Though NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells remained cautious about whether the consumer spending growth trend will continue, the month-to-month sales growth provided a pleasant surprise for the nation’s retailers.

Sales at furniture stores and home furnishing stores grew .7 percent seasonally adjusted from January, electronics and appliance stores sales rose 1.2 percent and clothing store sales jumped 2.8 percent.
Compared to February 2008 total retail sales fell 12.3 percent, and the NRF is still expecting year-over-year sales declines for the first half of 2009.