FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau today released retail sales data  (PDF) for February 2012. Retail and food services sales were $407.8 billion, up 1.1 percent from the previous month and up 6.5 percent from one year ago. This was consistent with private-sector forecasts. Excluding autos, retail and food services sales in February exceeded private sector expectations, coming in at $335.3 billion—up 0.9 percent from January and up 6.4 percent from February 2011.
“Retail sales showed continued progress last month, and sales in December and January were higher than previously estimated,” said Commerce Secretary John Bryson. “Gains were seen in virtually all retail categories, but work remains to ensure we’re supporting an economy that’s built to last. The U.S. economy has added private sector jobs for 24 straight months, creating more than 3.9 million payroll jobs. We must redouble our efforts to help American businesses and workers build their goods here and sell them everywhere.”