Despite Weather, February Retail Sales Rise Again in Most Categories

Retail sales in February rose in categories ranging from clothing to furniture, despite winter storms and rising gas prices, according to data released by MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse. The survey, which tracks spending in all forms including cash, shows clothing sales rose 6 percent, with increases in men’s, women’s and teen clothing.

“The momentum we’ve been seeing over the past several months is more or less continuing to hold, Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis at SpendingPulse, said in a statement. However, he said that if gas prices continue to rise — the national average gasoline price passed the $3.15 mark last month for the first time since 2008 — it could put a damper on spending. “That’s one of the things on the watch list,” McNamara says.

The International Council of Shopping Centers expects revenue in stores open at least one year will rise 2.5 percent to 3 percent industrywide.

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