Retail sales gains in January could boost growth - Yahoo! News
The story goes on the make the point that this is a very minor bit of good news, and that there are lots of reasons to think it is far too early to say "recovery", but it is a bit of good news. It is certainly better than the news could be.AP 1 pm est
A modestly better-than-expected report on retail sales for January could suggest stronger economic growth in coming months.
The 0.5 percent gain reported Friday by the Commerce Department exceeded the 0.3 percent increase economists had expected.
Strength came from a surge at general merchandise stores. These include big national chains such as those owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Excluding autos, sales posted a 0.6 percent reading, also better than expected.