The recession continued to cause consumers to cut back onspending in some areas of the economy, the Commerce Departmentreported today.

Retail sales fell .1%in February, resuming a decline after onemonth of increased sales in January, which followed six consecutivemonths of declining sales numbers. Last month's figures were 8.6%below those of February 2008.

Total retail and food sales in February were $346.8 billion,down from the revised figure of $347,191 for January.

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