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Retail Sales Of CE, Majaps Edged Up In February

Washington — Retail sales of consumer electronics and major appliances rose about 1.3 percent last month over January, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

According to the agency’s Advance Monthly Sales for Retail Trade and Food Services report, CE and majap sales reached an estimated $9.2 billion at retail in February, when adjusted for seasonal variations and holiday and trading-day differences.

January sales of $9.1 billion sharply rebounded from the $8.5 billion in electronics and appliance sell-through in December, the Census Bureau said, representing a 7.5 percent gain.

While February sales slipped 1.4 percent from the prior-year period, the rate of decline slowed from January’s 3.2 percent downturn year-over-year.

According to Credit Suisse retail analyst Gary Balter, the government figures confirm retailers’ accounts of increasing CE traction. In their most recent earnings conference calls, Target said electronics was its strongest hardlines category over the last two months and Costco reported strength in TV unit sales.