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Published: Wednesday, 3/14/2012

Retail sales rise 1.1% in month to $407.8B


WASHINGTON -- Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in February from January to $407.8 billion, The Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

January’s figure was revised to show a 0.6 percent advance instead of the 0.4 percent initially reported.

December sales also were revised, to show a 0.3 percent gain instead of a previously reported flat performance.

Excluding autos, sales for February climbed 0.9 percent.

Consumers are spending despite higher gasoline prices. The Energy Information Administration has estimated the unusually warm weather will knock $629 off the average natural-gas heating bill this winter.

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