Retail In December Slightly Higher Than Expected
January 14, 2014 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON (UPI) — Retail and food-service sales rose one tick higher than expected in December, pushing the annual gain to 4.2 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.
Total sales rose 0.2 percent from November to $431.93 billion — a 4.1 percent increase over the same month of 2012.
Economists had expected a gain of 0.1 percent.
Retail sales for the year were up 4.2 percent from 2012. For the final three months of the year, sales were up 1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012.
The bureau also revised the October to November gain from 0.7 percent to 0.4 percent.
Motor vehicle sales dropped in the final month of the year, down 1.8 percent from November, but posted a 6.2 percent gain from December 2012.
Sales were also down month-to-month for furniture, electronics, and building materials. General merchandise sales were off 1.6 percent month-to-month and sporting goods and hobby shop sales were down 0.6 percent.
Gains were led by food and beverage sales, up 2 percent from November, followed by clothing, up 1.8 percent and gasoline station sales, up 1.6 percent.
Excluding auto sales, which brought the total down, sales were up 0.7 percent from November and 3.7 percent over 12 months, the bureau said.