WASHINGTON — Americans spent at the fastest pace in five months in February, raising retail spending 1.1 percent compared with January. About half the jump reflected higher gasoline prices, but even excluding gas purchases, retail sales rose 0.6 percent.
The report Wednesday from the Commerce Department showed that Americans kept spending last month despite an increase in Social Security taxes that took effect this year when a temporary two percent reduction expired.
Core retail sales, which exclude the volatile categories of gas, autos and building supply stores, rose 0.4 percent in February compared with January.
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.