Retail executives see business looking up, NRF says

The National Retail Federation’s “Retail Sector Performance Index” (RSPI) rose 5.3 points to 55.6 in February after four straight months of declining numbers. The RSPI measures retail executives’ evaluations of monthly sales, customer traffic, the average transaction per customer, employment, inventories and a six-month-ahead sales outlook expectation.

The RSPI is based on a scale of 0.0-100.0 with 50.0 equaling normal.

According to the NRF, retail executives said that customer sales and traffic bounced back significantly last month, increasing the Current Demand Index by 13.8 points to 59.2. Pricing power also stabilized in February, the survey concluded, with the pricing index rising 15 points to 40.

The Demand Outlook (a six-month outlook for sales) rose to 55, a slight increase over January but significantly lower than the 68.8 reading in February 2004.

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