(KCEN) -- American shoppers have been spending at the fastest pace in five months, boosting retail spending 1.1 percent from January.
Higher gas prices contributed to that jump, but even excluding the pain at the pump, retail sales still rose .6 percent.
Strong online sales are also driving the positive numbers.
The national retail federation predicts they'll increase 12 percent over last year.
Senior Vice President for the National Retail Federation Bill Thorne said, "We anticipate that they will continue to be positive as long as the head winds continue to diminish. And those headwinds consist of economic uncertainty, gas prices and overall concern about the way the economy is moving."
Analysts also attribute the rise in spending to an improved job market.
Employers have added an average of 205,000 jobs a month since November.