Roundup: Valentine’s Day / Grand Isle / US retail sales 

    Date night: Americans dining out for Valentine’s Day tonight will find there is a price on love that keeps moving higher. Restaurant prices climbed 3.1% in January from a year earlier, matching the fastest annual increase since 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports. That outpaced a 0.7% increase for dining at home and a 2.5% advance in overall prices for the same period, according to Labor Department data. Read the full story. 

    Sand and Gulf: Louisiana’s last inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle, made No. 19 on The New York Time’s list of 52 places to go in 2020. A key reason why visitors should go now is because of the island’s uncertain future as sea levels rise. Other spots making the list include the British Virgin Islands, Egypt and Greenland. See the list here.  

    Shopping: U.S. retail sales rose a modest 0.3% in January, a slight improvement over December, as unseasonably warm weather boosted sales at hardware stores and furniture stores. The Commerce Department said this morning that the January advance followed a 0.2% rise in sales in December. The slight January gain was in line with expectations. However, economists were also expecting to see a solid gain in an underlying control group of retail sales that feeds into the government’s calculations for overall economic growth. Read the full story. 

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