February retail sales increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 4.4 percent year-over-year as the economy continued to grow, according to the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
The three-month moving average was also up 4.4 percent over the same period a year ago, and the results come as NRF is forecasting that 2018 retail sales will grow between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent over 2017.
The February numbers won back a slight monthly dip seen in January, which declined 0.2 percent from December coming off one of the best holiday seasons in years, but was up 5.4 percent year-over-year.
NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said overall February sales—including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants—were down 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from January but up 4 percent year-over-year.