Retail sales in February were down 20.9% relative to a year earlier, up from a 26.6% year-over-year decline in January. Total sales rose 5.7% in February but this was nearly all due to a partial unwinding of the horrible January motor trade sales. Excluding the motor trade, sales were up 1.3% in February and the year-over-year decline stands at -6.9%, which is up a little from its low point of -8.5% recorded in November.
I’m not going to write about second deriviatives or, god forbid, green shoots. But, still, I’ll just observe that these numbers are not as horrible as I might have expected and leave those that know more about this release to add further comment.