Retail Sales Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels As Consumers ‘Put Record Savings to Work’ February retail sales were up 8.7% compared to the same period last year and 17.3% compared to the month immediately before the pandemic.

Retail Sales Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels As Consumers ‘Put Record Savings to Work’

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

In a sign of continued consumer optimism, Americans bumped up their retail spending in February.

February retail sales were up 8.7 percent compared to the same period last year and 17.3 percent compared to the month immediately before the start of the pandemic. The February retail numbers were even higher than the growth seen in January, when the surge in sales defied economists’ expectations.

In-store sales increased 10 percent over February 2021, and much of the spending suggested that Americans are excited about the return to in-person work and socializing. Clothing sales were 37.6 percent higher than they were last year, while jewelry sales increased 22.4 percent. “Consumers are putting their record savings to work and expressing themselves through fashion again,” said MasterCard advisor and former Saks Incorporated CEO Steve Sadove.

In addition to refreshing their wardrobes, consumers spent big on restaurants, which saw their sales rise 39 percent over last year.

The strong shopping numbers are a reflection of consistently good news about the American economy. The US added 678,000 new jobs in February – approximately 30 percent more than projected – asunemployment fell dramatically and /span>productivity continued to rise.