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Despite Wintry Weather, Apparel Spending Picks Up in February

Though total consumer spending had its smallest increase in seven months, apparel spending had its biggest monthly gain in almost two years.

According to data released on Monday by the Commerce Department, despite a month in which unseasonably cold and snowy wintry weather took a toll on store traffic and retail sales, personal consumption expenditures on apparel increased by 2.85% on a 12-month smoothed basis.

Spending on footwear slightly lagged that of apparel, rising by 2.2% in the month.

Women’s and girls’ apparel were the big winners, up 3.4% in the month, their sharpest collective increase since February 2013, making it the fastest growing segment for the twentieth straight month.

Men’s and boy’s apparel spending rose by 2.7%, rising faster than any month since May 2013. Children’s and infants’ apparel expenditures jumped by almost 2.9%.