Retail sales registered at $105.98 billion (seasonally adjusted) in February, down 0.2 percent from the record January level. The slight slowdown should help dampen fears of inflation even as the economic expansion remains strong.
Auto sales slowed somewhat in February, as did department and grocery store sales. Sales of building materials remained strong.
The January and February figures indicate that, unless there is a setback in sales in March, first-quarter 1984 performance will be well ahead of last year's fourth quarter.