Retail Sales Increase Less Than Expected


Washington, DC, Feb. 15, 2011 -- U.S. retail sales rose less than forecast in January, weighed down by declining demand at building material stores and restaurants, according to the Commerce Department.

Purchases increased 0.3 percent, the smallest gain since a drop in June. Economists forecast a 0.5 percent rise.

Eight of 13 major categories showed an increase in demand last month, led by auto dealers, grocery stores and service stations.