Feb. 14, 2007 -- Retail sales flattened out in January, driven down by declines in car and gasoline sales, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Excluding car sales, which dropped 1.3 percent, retail sales rose 0.3 percent from December and 2.3 percent compared to January 2006, the weakest year-over-year gains in nearly three years, the report said.

In January, sales were up at furniture and building supply stores, general merchandise stores, sports and books stores, and online retailers, the report said.

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