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McDonald's reports stronger-than-expected sales

© Molly Riley / Reuters / REUTERS

A McDonald's burger.

By msnbc.com news services

McDonald's reported a better-than-expected rise in January sales Wednesday, as strength in its U.S. operations helped offset the impact of economic weakness in Europe.

The world's biggest hamburger chain said sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 6.7 percent globally. Analysts were looking for an increase of 5.9 percent, according to Reuters.

McDonalds is one of the world’s most global companies and is seen as a bellwether for the global consumer.

Reuters contributed to this report.