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U.S. retail sales up 1.0% in February

U.S. retail sales up 1.0% in February (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Sales at U.S. retailers increased 1.0% in February, the eight straight monthly gain and the largest in four months, the Commerce Department estimated Friday. Sales rose an upwardly revised 0.7% in January compared with the prior estimate of a 0.3% gain. Details of the February report were strong. Ahead of the report, economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected total sales to rise 1.3% in February. Excluding the 2.4% rise in motor vehicle sales, retail sales rose 0.7%, below the 0.9% economists had expected.