Retail sales rose 1.1% in February, the biggest gain in five months, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
The increase followed a 0.6% gain in January that was larger than the 0.4% originally forecast.
The February gain matched economists’ forecasts, Bloomberg reported.
Demand improved in 11 of 13 categories, including automobile dealers and clothing stores.
Auto dealers’ sales rose 1.6%, turning around a 1.6% drop in January, as automobile sales sold at the fastest pace in four years. Purchases excluding autos rose 0.9%.
Almost all trucking operations depend on the health of retail sales because such sales involve nearly every type of cargo.