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Euro-Area Retail Sales Unexpectedly Increase, Led by France

European retail sales unexpectedly rebounded from four months of declines in January, as growth in France helped to offset a drop in Germany.

Sales rose 0.3 percent from December, when they fell a revised 0.5 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.1 percent, the median of 20 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Sales were unchanged from a year earlier.