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The U.S. Commerce Department released the retail sales data on Friday. The U.S. retail sales increased 0.2% in January, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% rise, after a 0.2% gain in December. December's figure was revised up from a 0.1% decrease.
The increase was mainly driven by a rise in sales at auto dealerships, sales at clothing retailers and sales at building material and garden equipment stores.
Sales at clothing retailers were up 0.2% in January, sales at building material and garden equipment stores increased 0.6%, while sales at auto dealerships rose 0.6%.
Retail sales excluding automobiles rose 0.1% in January, exceeding expectations for a flat reading, after a 0.1% rise in December. December's figure was revised up from a 0.1% fall.
Sales at service stations dropped 3.1% in January, while sales at furniture stores fell 0.5%.
These figures could mean that the Fed will likely not raise its interest rate in March as consumers remained cautious.
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