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Retail sales fall in February

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Retail sales fall in February

“Core” retail sales remain flat during the month.

Retail sales fell 0.1% in February, according to data released by the Commerce Department today. However, January retail sales were revised sharply downward to reflect a decline of 0.4% compared to the originally reported increase of 0.2%.

Analysts had expected a 0.2% decrease in February.

Sales excluding autos, gasoline, building materials and food services - so-called “core retail sales” – remained flat during the month, compared to a downwardly-revised 0.2% increase in January.

The sharp downward revision in retail sales for January and the decrease in February may renew concerns about a slowing of the US economy.  In fact, concurrent with the release of retail sales data, Barclays slashed its estimate of 2016 GDP growth from 2.4% to 1.9%

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