The Advance Retail Sales Report released this morning shows that sales in February rose 0.3% month-over-month, up from -0.1% in January, but the January number was a substantial downward revision from -0.4% to -0.6%. Likewise Core Retail Sales (ex autos) was up 0.3% in February, but from an even larger downward January revision, from unchanged to -0.3%.
Today's headline and core numbers came above the Investing.com forecast of a 0.2% gain for both.
The first chart below is a log-scale snapshot of retail sales since the early 1990s. I've included an inset to show the trend in this indicator over the past several months.
(click to enlarge)
Here is a year-over-year snapshot of overall series. Here we can see that the YoY series is off its peak in June of 2011 and has been relatively range-bound since April of last year.
Bottom Line: The Advance retail sales, both headline and core, came in better than expected but from substantial downward January revisions.