National News

Retail spending rises, unemployment rate holds steady

U.S. retail sales grew 0.3 percent from January to February in a rise that the government characterized as “unexpected,” saying forecasts had pointed to a decline in February sales. The Commerce Department said rising sales indicate “the resilience of retail spending” and offer “another welcome sign of economic recovery.” Total sales for the December 2009 through February 2010 period were up 4.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, the economy continued to shed jobs, albeit at . . .

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