WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for February 2011. Retail sales jumped 1.0 percent, a strong monthly gain and the eighth consecutive monthly increase. This figure was slightly below private-sector expectations of a 1.2-percent gain. Sales at motor vehicle dealers increased 2.3 percent. Sales excluding automotive dealers increased 0.7 percent, consistent with private-sector expectations of a 0.7 percent gain.