Slight gains for U.S. food and retail

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $427.2 billion, an increase of 0.3% from the previous month, and 1.5% above February 2013. Total sales for the December 2013 through February 2014 period were up 2.3% from the same period a year ago. The December 2013 to January 2014 percent change was revised from -0.4% to -0.6%. Retail trade sales were up 0.3% from January 2014, and 1.3% above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 6.3 % from February 2013 and health and personal care stores were up 5.5% from last year.