Retail Sales increased by 0.3% in February to $355.5 billion annualized, beating the expected decrease of 0.1%, following a 0.1% increase in January (revised from a 0.5% increase), after decreasing by 0.1% in December. Over the past year, retail sales volume has expanded by 3.9%. Sales at electronic and appliance stores increased 3.7%, the biggest such rise since January 2009. Restaurants and bars also experienced an increase in receipts, by 0.9%, the highest such level since April 2008. Food and beverage stores, clothing stores, sporting goods stores, general merchandise stores and building material and garden supplies dealers also experienced increases in sales. Out of the thirteen major categories, ten showed increases in sales last month. Retail Sales excluding autos increased by 0.8% in February, as against the expected 0.1% increase, after increasing by 0.5% in January and decreasing by 0.2% in December.
Business Inventories are expected today at 10:00 AM EST. Business Inventories had decreased by 0.2% in December, to $1,310.7 billion, and were 9.7% less than December 2008 levels. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.26 at the end of December, compared to 1.46 recorded a year ago.
Upcoming Releases
Business Inventories (03/12 at 10:00 AM EST)
Net Foreign Purchases (03/15 at 9:00 AM EST)
Industrial Production (03/15 at 9:15 AM EST)
Capacity Utilisation (03/15 at 9:15 AM EST

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