February sales slipped 3.2 percent year over year for CE and appliance dealers, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
According to the agency’s monthly sales projections, channel sell-through hit $8.4 billion last month, essentially flat from January.
By comparison, year-over-year sales for furniture and home furnishings retailers rose 3.8 percent, and climbed 6.3 percent for e-tailers and other direct-channel merchants.
Total retail sales, excluding food services and motor vehicles, climbed 2.7 percent.
The Census Bureau figures were adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
“While spending moderately, consumers are navigating through the heavy fog of market turbulence experienced earlier this year,” observed Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade association. “Looking at the bottom line, consumer spending is on track to rise, which is good news for the economy.”
NRF is projecting total retail sales to grow 3.1 percent this year.