U.S. January Retail Sales Exceed Expectations

Retail sales across the U.S. posted three times the percentage increase in January that economists generally expected. Seasonally adjusted, retail sales last month totaled $365.4 billion, 2.3% higher than December 2005's mark, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Feb. 14.

Economists expected a seven-tenths percent increase.

Both autos and general merchandise recorded significant gains in January

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