WASHINGTON - Retail sales were up 1.1% in February after rising 0.6% in January, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
The February gain was greater than the 1.0% median increase projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
On a year-over-year unadjusted basis, retail sales were up 6.5% from February 2011.
Excluding autos, retail sales were up 0.9% in February after climbing a revised 1.1% in January.
Economists had projected a 0.7% gain for retail sales excluding autos.
Excluding autos and gas, retail sales rose 0.6% in February following a revised 1.0% gain the previous month.