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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Retail Sales in February 2011

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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for February 2011.  Retail sales jumped 1.0 percent, a strong monthly gain and the eighth consecutive monthly increase.  This figure was slightly below private-sector expectations of a 1.2-percent gain.  Sales at motor vehicle dealers increased 2.3 percent.  Sales excluding automotive dealers increased 0.7 percent, consistent with private-sector expectations of a 0.7 percent gain.

“Following strong gains in personal income in January, today’s retail sales data show that consumers are confident and spending, fueling growth of the U.S. economy,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The Obama administration has worked with both Democrats and Republicans to create the conditions for sustained job creation and growth by extending tax cuts for the middle class and creating incentives to encourage small businesses hiring. Amid tough economic choices, we will continue to make smart investments that empower America’s families and businesses to win the future. Report (PDF)