Retail Sales in U.S. Probably Advanced as Job Market Picked Up

Sales at U.S. retailers probably rose in February for a fourth consecutive month as a better job market and stronger household finances helped consumers adjust to a higher payroll tax, economists said before a report today.

The projected 0.5 percent advance would follow a 0.1 percent gain in January, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 82 economists before the Commerce Department’s figures.

Gains in employment and wages are shoring up sentiment and underpinning demand at chains including Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) Rising home and stock prices are also boosting household wealth, cushioning the economy against the effects of across-the-board government spending cuts that are now taking hold.


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