WASHINGTON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. retail and food services sales advanced in February by the most in five months, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday.
The department said the combined retail and food services sales in February rose 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 421.4 billion U.S. dollars. The figure was 4.6 percent above the level a year ago.
Sales of motor vehicles increased 1.1 percent and sales at gas stations jumped 5 percent in February.
Excluding autos, retail and food services sales totaled 342.9 billion dollars, up 1.0 percent from January and 3.9 percent from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the monthly increase in January was revised from 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent.
Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. According to revised estimate of the Commerce Department, U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, down from 3.1 percent in the previous three months.