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US retail sales sank again in December as surging COVID-19 cases slammed holiday spending

Northgate Mall empty hall

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Spending at US retailers contracted through the last month of 2020 as economic restrictions offset holiday-season sales.

US retail sales contracted 0.7% in December, according to Census Bureau data released Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected sales to hold steady from the month prior. While spending fell from the prior month, it still grew 2.9% from December 2019.

November’s reading was revised lower to a 1.4% decline.

Retail sales growth has stumbled after climbing for five consecutive months through September. The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed in March bolstered household incomes and buoyed spending through the start details ⇒

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