The figures suggest the world’s largest economy is gaining in strength after suffering the third-coldest winter on record.
Retailers reported that sales rose 0.3% in the month, the US Commerce Department said, after falling by a revised 0.6% in January.
The figure beat economists’ forecasts for a more modest rise of 0.2%.
Last month’s rebound almost brought retail spending back to its December levels. Over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen 1.5%.
The unusually cold winter, combined with heavier than usual snowfall, caused widespread disruption at the end of last year and continued to do so into the first half of February.
The cold weather continued to help sales of building materials and garden equipment, which increased 0.3% as consumers bought snow shovels, on top of a 1.4% rise in the sector in January.
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