March 12, 2024

February CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor Numbers Show Consumers Continued Spending in February

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2024 – Retail sales continued to grow in February, building off solid gains from January, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, powered by Affinity Solutions, released today by the National Retail Federation. Click here to access February’s retail data.

Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were up 1.06% seasonally adjusted month over month and up 6.3% unadjusted year over year in February, according to the Retail Monitor. That compared with a decrease of 0.16% month over month and an increase of 2.34% year over year in January.

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales – excluding restaurants in addition to autos and gas – was up 0.95% month over month and up 6.69% year over year in February. That compared with a decrease of 0.04% month over month and an increase of 3.24% year over year in January.

For additional context, when further seasonalization was applied to remove the leap-year effect of a 29th day in February from the calculations, total adjusted retail sales MoM softens from +1.09% to +0.40%. Core retail sales also soften from +0.95% to +0.27%. Similarly, when looking at unadjusted YoY, total and core retail measures drop to +2.70% and +2.99% respectively, from 6.30% and 6.69%. There was an effect at the sectoral level as well, as several categories dropped to negative for MoM and YoY, which included Furniture, Electronics, and Building Supplies.

“February retail sales indicate continued momentum from consumers.” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While the future direction of interest rates and inflation remains uncertain, it’s clear that a strong job market and increases in real wages are continuing to support spending.”

This is the fifth month that the Retail Monitor, which was launched in November, has provided data on monthly retail sales. Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual, anonymized credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity Solutions and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.

February sales were up in all but one of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, sporting goods stores and health and personal care stores, and up across the board on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 0.8% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 18.08% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were up 2.29% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 13.67% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.96% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 11.18% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.51% month over month and up 8.05% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 0.99% month over month and up 5.29% year over year unadjusted. 
  • General merchandise stores were up 0.67% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 3.34% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Building and garden supply stores were up 0.01% month over month and up 2.84% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 0.76% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 1.12% year over year unadjusted. 
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 0.45% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 1.56% year over year unadjusted. 

To learn more, visit
As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF provides data on retail sales each month and also forecasts annual retail sales and spending for key periods such as the holiday season each year.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. 

About CNBC
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than half a billion people per month across all platforms. The network’s 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About Affinity Solutions
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a complete view of U.S. and U.K. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into privacy-compliant, actionable intelligence for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive strategic growth and lasting customer relationships. Visit us at to discover how we’re shaping the future of consumer purchase insights.



NRF: J. Craig Shearman |

CNBC: Melissa Castro |

Affinity Solutions: Stephanie Geno |

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