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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Officials say new numbers on liquor sales suggest Ohioans are again going out to restaurants and nightspots, in a positive sign for the overall economy.

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control says wholesale sales of spirits to restaurants, bars and clubs rose 4.7 percent in 2011, after three down years.

Overall liquor sales in the state grew by 5.3 percent last year and totaled a record $794 million.

Officials note in a news release that there was a smaller, 3.9 percent increase in the number of gallons of spirits sold.

State Commerce Director David Goodman says the difference means people are buying pricier, premium products as tastes become more sophisticated.

The top brand of liquor sold in the state last year was Kamchatka vodka, followed by Jack Daniels whiskey.