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Retail sales unexpectedly fell in December as consumers pulled back on spending
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U.S. retail sales unexpectedly declined in December, suggesting that consumers are pulling back on spending as they face surging prices and an acceleration in COVID-19 infections.
The value of total sales decreased 1.9% from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday, marking the steepest drop in 10 months. Economists surveyed by Refinitv expected sales to be flat at 0%. It follows an increase of 0.2% in November, revised Commerce Department figures show.
INFLATION SURGES 7% IN DECEMBER, HIGHEST IN 40 YEARS
The so-called core retail sales, which excludes automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services and is most closely correlated with the consumer spending aspect of the nation's gross domestic product, tumbled 3.1% last month.