Economists expect to see an increase of 0.2 percent when February retail sales are reported at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday, better than January's 0.4 percent decline. Without automobiles, that number is expected to be a sluggish 0.1 percent.
The retail "control" number is expected to be up 0.3 percent. That number is retail sales, minus autos, gasoline and building materials, and that factors into gross domestic product (GDP).
"History suggests you're going to get a bit more noticeable payback in the next few months," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, adding that with a March spring back, it could positively influence first quarter GDP.