US retail sales rise in December


shopping centre US retail sales rose slightly in December over America’s crucial holiday shopping season, beating what had been gloomy expectations, government data shows.

The Commerce Department said retail and food services sales totalled $US431.9 billion ($A478 billion), up 0.2 per cent from November.

Consumer spending is the prime driver of the US economy, so there was concern when analysts forecast flat retail sales month over month in December.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales in December were up 0.7 per cent. Sales of motor vehicles and parts fell 1.8 per cent.

Food and beverage stores scored the strongest gain, with sales up 2.0 per cent.

Sales at electronics and appliance stores saw the largest decline, falling 2.5 per cent.

The Commerce Department also downwardly revised the November sales growth number to 0.4 per cent from a prior estimate of 0.7 per cent.

December sales were up 4.1 per cent from a year ago. For the full year of 2013, total sales were up 4.2 per cent from 2012.



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