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Retail sales data show surprise February dip

Retail sales came in at $506 million, down 0.2% from January
Store shelf
Economists had expected growth of 0.3%

US retail sales unexpectedly dropped in February, according to advance estimates released Monday from the Census Bureau.

Total retail sales were $506 billion, down 0.2% from January. Economists had expected growth of 0.3%, according to polling from Reuters. Year over year, retail sales grew 2.2%.

January’s figure was revised to $507 billion, shifting the December to January percentage change from to a 0.7% increase from a 0.2% increase.

The dip could be a result of a delay in processing tax refunds in the middle of the month, per CNBC. Tax refunds have also typically been smaller this year after the tax cuts passed last year.

For investors, its a sign of economic slowdown, particularly when considered alongside recent disappointing housing figures and manufacturing data, as well an inverted yield curve.

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