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February 15, 2011 10:20 AM, EST

Retail Sales Rise for Seventh Month

Retail sales rose 0.3% in January, the seventh straight increase, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The uptick, the lowest since June, followed a revised 0.5% gain in December that was below the 0.6% originally released.

The January reading was below economists’ forecasts of a 0.5% increase, Bloomberg reported.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline and building materials, sales rose 0.4%.

Eight of 13 major categories showed increases, led by automobile dealers, which rose 0.5%, grocery stores and service stations.

Almost all trucking operations depend on the health of retail sales because such sales involve nearly every type of cargo.