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Retail Sales Growth Starting To Slacken

Wed., Feb. 15, 1995

Retail sales are still rising but the pace has slackened in recent months in what analysts say is a sign higher interest rates are finally slowing the economy.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that sales rose in January a modest 0.2 percent for the second straight month. While they have not fallen since April, the growth rate has eased dramatically.

The January sales increase was smaller than analysts predicted. And, in a further sign of slowing, spending on big-ticket durable goods declined for the second straight month.

The Commerce Department said sales rose 0.2 percent in December - revised up from an earlier estimate that showed a 0.1 percent decline - and were up 0.4 percent in November instead of a previous estimate of up 0.2 percent.

But the gains are well below the 1.2 percent surge in October, the last strong increase in sales.

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