Consumers open their wallets more

The retail industry, excluding cars, gas stations and restaurants, saw an increase in spending in February, according to the National Retail Federation.

Retail sales increased 1 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 1.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“February could be the direct result of cabin fever with consumers eager to get some fresh air and enjoy a day of shopping,” Rosalind Wells, chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in the press release. “We expect sales increases to continue, but high unemployment and other economic factors will restrain consumers’ ability to splurge on discretionary items.”

The U.S. Commerce Department released its total retail sales for February, which was an increase 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 4.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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