US Retail Sales Rise in February

Sales for many U.S. retailers rose in February, as shoppers ventured out later in the month after a dismal start when ice, cold and snow kept many of them at home.

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) on Thursday said U.S. sales at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent, while L Brands Inc (LB.N) reported a better-than-expected 2 percent rise, lifted by gains at its Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain.

The unusually cold and snowy weather that slammed retailers in January continued into February, including an ice storm that idled much of the Southeast for days.

But sales trends improved as the weather got better and many U.S. consumers got tax refunds, said John Cato, chief executive of discount clothing chain Cato Corp. (CATO.N)

Last week, the chief executives of department store chain Macy’s Inc (M.N) and jeweler Zale Corp (ZLC.N) also reported much brisker business after Valentine’s Day.

“Bring on the spring and you’ll see a much improved consumer spending pace, said Michael Niemira, chief economist of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

He re-iterated his expectation for consumer spending to keep improving this year as the job market and economy gain strength.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza