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Monthly US retail sales rose 0.2%, narrowly beating estimate

Seasonally adjusted retail sales in the U.S. edged up 0.2% month over month to $504.44 billion in January, following a revised decrease of 1.6% in December 2018, according to an advance estimate from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Bureau.

The Econoday consensus forecast was for a 0.1% monthly gain.

Excluding motor vehicle and parts, sales ticked up 0.9% month over month in January. Excluding gasoline stations, sales edged 0.4% higher.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers declined 2.4%. Nonstore retailers saw a rise of 2.6% in sales, and sales at gasoline stations slipped 2.0%.

Compared with the year-ago period, total retail sales rose 2.3%.