According to Mastercard SpendingPulse*, U.S. retail sales excluding automotive were up 6.9 percent year-over-year (YOY) in February.

“Following a dynamic holiday season, consumer spending returned to a familiar and healthy balance in February,” said Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior advisor and former CEO of Saks, Inc. “Consumers have remained resilient, prioritizing discounts where possible to counteract inflationary pressures.”

At a national level, key spending trends from February include:

  • E-commerce sales continued to climb, up 13.2 percent YOY as winter weather activity in many parts of the country kept consumers inside and ordering online from home. In-store sales were up 5.5 percent YOY.
  • Spending on restaurants (14.2 percent), airlines (15.6 percent) and lodging (42.7 percent) grew YOY, reflecting suppressed growth in 2022 and continued demand for travel and experiences ahead of the spring break season.
  • Apparel (3.9 percent) and department store (5.6 percent) sectors experienced modest year-over-year growth in February as consumers put an emphasis on pricing and value. In particular, Valentine’s Day drove a spike in sales across gifting sectors, including apparel, department Stores and jewelry.

“Retail spending continued to grow at a steady rate compared to 2022,” said Michelle Meyer, North America chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “The consumer remains supported by robust labor market conditions with some added cushion from savings.”

*Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. Figures reflect nominal spending and are not adjusted for inflation.