Retail sales grew 5.4% year-over-year (YoY) in February, according to the US Commerce Department’s monthly report—excluding auto and gas, sales rose 7.9%.
Although a slowdown from 7.7% YoY growth in January—9.0% YoY excluding auto and gas—consumers continued to spend despite 6.0% inflation in February.
From a YoY perspective, retail sales numbers look relatively optimistic, but a month-over-month (MoM) trend view can look somewhat stagnant with February retail sales dropping 0.4% MoM.
wider outlook in deciphering the numbers can be gauged on executive sentiment.
Business Roundtable’s CEO Outlook Index—a survey of more than 100 chief executives of America’s biggest companies—recorded its first increase since Q1 2021.
The enhanced sentiment illuminates the enduring strength of the US labor market. According to the Labor Department, employers created 311,000 positions in February.