NEW YORK (AP) — America’s consumers trimmed their spending in February after a buying burst in January, underscoring the volatility of the economic environment.

The government said Wednesday that retail sales slipped 0.4% after jumping a revised 3.2% in January, helped by an increase in auto sales.

Retail sales were down in November and December, the critical holiday period.

The February retail sales figure was dragged down by a 1.8% drop in auto sales as well as declines in restaurants and stores selling furniture and clothing.

Excluding autos, sales slipped 0.1% from January, according to the Commerce Department.

But shoppers spent more online and at electronics stores, health and beauty stores and food retailers, according to the report.