MOSCOW, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Russia's retail sales disappointed in January, growing by less than expected, while investment remained relatively weak, data from the Federal Statistics Service showed on Tuesday.
Retail sales grew by 3.5 percent in annual terms in January, while analysts had expected 4.8 percent growth.
Investment, which had been sluggish in the second half of 2012, surprised on the upside, rising by 1.1 percent, better than the 0.5 percent expected by analysts, but was below rates seen in early 2012.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.0 percent, a typical spike in January, when Russians celebrate long Orthodox Christmas holidays.
Real wages rose by 8 percent, year-on-year, surpassing the 5.2 percent increase analysts had expected, and delivering on the government promise to adjust wages as of 2013.
Construction, the backbone of Russia's stellar economic performance before the 2008/2009 economic and financial downturn, inched up last month in annual terms to one of the best January readings in the past decade.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Maya Dyakina; Editing by Douglas Busvine) Keywords: RUSSIA ECONOMY/
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