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McDonald's sales fall 1.5 percent in February

NEW YORK (AP) -- McDonald's says a monthly sales figure dipped again as it struggled with intensifying competition and challenging economic conditions around the world.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.5 percent in February. It noted that February sales last year benefited from an extra day because it was a leap year. When excluding the impact of that extra day, it said sales rose 1.7 percent.

In the U.S., the figure fell 3.3 percent. In Europe, it slipped 0.5 percent and in the region including Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa it fell 1.6 percent.

The figure is a key metric because it strips out the effects of newly opened and closed locations. Before October, McDonald's Corp. hadn't logged a monthly sales decline for nearly a decade. But the figure dropped in January as well, making February the third decline in just five months.

The monthly sales figures are a snapshot of money spent on food at both company-owned and franchised restaurants and do not reflect corporate revenue.