Retail Sales Declined at Fastest Pace Since 2009 in December
An important measure of consumer spending posted its strongest drop since 2009 in December, a worrying sign for economic growth as shoppers reined in spending at the close of the year.
Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online, declined a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in December from a month earlier to $505.8 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected sales to increase 0.1% in December.
The final month of the holiday season is key for the retail sector, especially for department stores, clothing outlets and online sellers.
The Commerce Department report showed every major retail category aside from...
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