Economy

Furniture, home furnishings stores post sales increases in February

Furniture, home furnishings stores post sales increases in February

NRF reported that its retail sales data, which excludes automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, saw a 0.3% seasonally adjusted gain from January to February and a 4.4% annual gain.

However, if gas and autos are stripped out, retail sales edged higher by 0.3%, a sign of health in the broader economy. Sales of newly built homes and existing homes have both increased in the a year ago, and they need to be outfitted with new furnishing and new appliances.

President Trump's tax cuts have failed to spark a spending spree in America, with retail sales unexpectedly lower for the third month in a row in February.

February's dip marks the first time since April 2012 that retail sales have fallen three months straight, according to Reuters.

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US retail sales unexpectedly fell in February for a third month, adding to signs that consumer spending will cool this quarter from the previous period's hot pace, according to Commerce Department figures released March 14.

"Consumers are still in the driver's seat", NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. Overall consumer spending reflects more than two-thirds of economic demand in the U.S. Sales at nonstore retailers grew 1.0% following January's 0.9% decrease. Better off were building materials and garden supply stores, posting an increase of 5.1% year-over-year and 1.9% from January seasonally adjusted. Furniture stores suffered a drop in sales for the month of 0.8 percent, and department stores lost 0.9 percent of their sales.

Again, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores was the only subcategory to post a year-over-year sales decline in February, down 3.5%.

Sales for existing homes grew by 2.6 percent in 2017 from 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors, continuing an upward trend since 2009.


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