A shopper carries multiple bags while walking in Las Vegas. (Ty O’Neil/Associated Press)
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NEW YORK — America’s consumers trimmed their spending in February after a buying burst in January, underscoring the volatility of the economic environment.
The government said March 15 that retail sales slipped 0.4% after jumping a revised 3.2% in January, helped by an increase in auto sales. Retail sales were down in November and December, the critical holiday period.
The February retail sales figure was weighed down by a 1.8% drop in auto sales as well as declines at restaurants and stores selling furniture and clothing. Excluding autos, sales slipped 0.1% from January, according to the Commerce Department.
Sales at furniture stores fell 2.5%, while business at restaurants declined 2.2% in February from January. Sales at department stores slid 4%. But shoppers spent more online