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Retail Sales Surprise with Surge Higher

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The stimulus payments worked.

Retail sales jumped 5.3 percent in January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department Wednesday.

Economists had forecast a rise of 1.1 percent.

Excluding autos, sales rose 5.9 percent. That also topped expectations for a rise of just one percent. Excluding gasoline and autos, retail sales rose 6.1 percent, far outpacing the 0.5 percent expected gains.

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