Retail sales rise in US

Retail sales jump in US. Retail sales posted the biggest monthly gain in four months in February, despite a dip in consumer confidence and rising fuel prices. The Commerce Department said sales at the nation’s retailers rose 1 percent from January, and it revised January’s increase to 0.7 percent, twice its previous estimate.

“While built-up demand and positive job growth will continue to boost industry sales, the recent dip in consumer confidence and climb in fuel prices are a concern,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association in Arlington. “It remains to be seen how much of an effect it will have on spending and if it will hamper the recent progress the economy has made.”

Consumers are paying more at the pump and higher gasoline prices were partially reflected in the increase in retail sales. The price has increased about 40 cents in the last three weeks in Austin to about $3.40 per gallon. Department store sales rose 1 percent, sales at electronics and appliance stores rose 0.9 percent and sales at restaurants rose 1.2 percent. Read more: Retail sales jump in February.