WASHINGTON – Retail sales came in above expectations for January, rising 0.4% with a December revised stronger as well.

The Commerce Department Wednesday reported that though the top-line number outperformed, auto sales sagged 1.4% and some big categories, like furniture and on-line shopping were unchanged.

But the many positives were dominant, with core retail sales - minus gasoline, building materials, autos and food services - also up 0.4% for the month.

Electronics were up 1.6%, clothing rose 1.0%, sporting goods soared 1.8% and department stores gained 1.2%.

The December revision was sizable, adding 0.4 points to the original 0.6% increase.

The drag from autos made the ex-auto sales reading a gain of 0.8%, when 0.5% had been expected.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.