U.S. Retail Sales Increase Slightly in January
Retail sales increased for a third straight month in January as Americans kicked off 2016 by spending freely on cars, clothing and online merchandise. The 0.2 percent gain matched the previous month’s advance that was initially reported as a decline, Commerce Department data showed Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.1 percent increase in January. Excluding cheaper gasoline, which depressed service-station receipts, purchases climbed 0.4 percent.