U.S Retail Sales Rose by 1.1% in February – March Report

Retails and foods services sales rose again for the fourth consecutive month, during February 2013 by 0.1% compared with January’s sales and were also above the sales at February 2012.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (pdf file) published today its monthly report on the developments in the U.S. retail and food sales for February 2013.

This report adjusts for seasonal variances and holidays but doesn’t control for price shifts. In February, the U.S. retail and food sales reached $421.4 billion, which is 1.1% above the sales in January and 4.6% above February 2012. The gasoline stations sales were up by 5% in February compared to January and 3.6% above the sales in February 2012. This means the U.S demand for retail is on the rise; it also means demand for energy commodities is increasing.

If the demand for gasoline will continue to increase, it could signal a rise in demand for oil in the U.S and thus may pressure up the rates of oil. Moreover, the recent rise in the retail sales might suggest the U.S economy is improving.

The major energy commodities prices are slightly rising; major U.S stock markets are little changed and the USD is modestly traded down against leading currencies including the Aussie dollar and Euro. This could mean that the recent report regarding the modest gain in retail sales had a moderate effect on the U.S financial markets. So this news had, at best, a moderate effect on the financial markets including energy commodities, forex and stocks.

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