U.S. retail sales fell 0.1% in February from the previous month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. January retail sales posted a monthly gain of 1.8%. On a 12-month basis, February retail sales were 8.6 percent below the February 2008 level.
However, there were a number of areas which showed gains, including department and other general merchandise stores, up 1.3%, specialty clothing stores, up 2.8%, and furniture stores, which saw sales increase by 0.7%.
Consumer electronics and major appliance sales reached an estimated US$9.2 billion at retail in February, the report said. January sales of $9.1 billion sharply rebounded from the $8.5 billion in electronics and appliance sell-through in December, representing a 7.5% gain. While February sales slipped 1.4% from the prior-year period, the rate of decline slowed from January’s 3.2% downturn year-over-year.
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