83114785Retail sales across the country increased both month-to-month and year-over-year in February, despite nationwide winter storms, the  National Retail Federation announced Thursday.

The sales, which exclude purchases made at automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants, increased .2 percent from January and 2.3 percent from the same time last year, according to a Federation news release.

“Today’s positive retail sales report indicates that the economy is primed for growth,” President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the release. “Retailers and consumers endured the harsh winter and they’re hoping both the natural and man-made obstacles to growth will leave with the snow.”

The Federation’s findings also showed that:

  • Sales of building materials, garden equipment and supplies increased an average of .3 percent month-to-month and 3.2 year-over-year;
  • The sale of clothing and accessories decreased .2 percent month-to-month and 2.4 percent year-over-year;
  • Electronic and appliance sales decreased .2 percent from January and 2.3 from the same same time last year;
  • Furniture and home furnishing saw an increase in sales of .4 percent month-to-month, but that figure remained unchanged year-over-year;
  • The sale of general merchandise decreased .3 percent since January and .9 since last February;
  • Sales of health and personal care goods increased 1.2 percent month-to-month and 5.6 percent year-over-year;
  • Non-store retailer sales increased 1.2 percent month-to-month and 6.8 percent year-over-year; and
  • The sale of sporting and hobby goods, books and music merchandise increased 1.2 percent month-to-month and 6.8 year-over-year.

For more information, visit NRF.com.