February 14, 2006

BLAME W:

U.S. January Retail Sales Rise By Most Since May 2004 (Bloomberg, 2/14/06)

Retailers rang up their biggest sales gains since May 2004 last month, more than doubling economists' forecasts and helping the U.S. economy snap back from its worst quarter in three years.

The 2.3 percent rise followed a 0.4 percent increase in December, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Excluding auto dealers, purchases rose 2.2 percent, the most since December 1999.

The fifth straight gain in sales reflects the higher wages U.S. workers are enjoying as the economy adds more jobs and unemployment declines. Earnings rose last month from a year ago by the most since February 2003.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2006 10:48 AM
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