``The 0.2 percent gain matched the previous month's advance that was initially reported as a decline, Commerce Department data showed Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.1 percent increase in January. Excluding cheaper gasoline, which depressed service-station receipts, purchases climbed 0.4 percent.'' -- .2% annualized is 2.4%, which is (conservatively speaking) just inflation. However what is funniest about this comment is leaving out gasoline sales. Since the claim has been that lower gas prices would spur spending by consumers, shouldn't the money be showing up in sales, even without artificially removing gasoline from the figures?

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