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Sunday 16th of January 2011
January 14, 2011    

US retail sales rise in December

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by Kay Murchie

The Commerce Department has revealed US retail sales grew for the sixth consecutive month in December.

Sales grew by 0.6% on the month - although this was less than the 0.8% expected by analysts.

December’s increase was less than in the previous two months, as retailers started their sales early, while parts of the country were hit by severe wintry weather which kept shoppers away from the stores.

However, on an annual basis, sales were up 6.7% - representing the largest annual increase since 1999.

Retail sales figures are closely watched because consumer spending accounts for approximately two-thirds of economic output in the US.

Michael Woolfolk at BNY Mellon described the figures as a “modest disappointment”.

In other news today, the Labor Department said December consumer prices grew by 0.5% - the biggest increase in 18 months.

The majority of the rise was attributed to an 8.5% rises in petrol prices.

The figures come shortly after US central bank, the Federal Reserve, said the US economy was continuing to grow moderately, but said it is still battling with high unemployment.

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