Retail and food service sales were up 1.1% in February.
Data released Wednesday morning by the U.S Census Bureau, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes, shows $424.1 billion in retail sales, up 1.1% from the previous month, and up 4.6% above February 2012.
In the NAICS class 444 -- “building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers” -- sales closely followed total retail sales. The segment was up 1.1% for the month, and up 4.5% for the year.
The government estimated 444 businesses hit $25.603 billion in sales in February, up from $25.314 billion in January.
The data also showed nonstore retailers were up 15.7% from the same month last year. And auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 8.8% from last year.