Skip to content
Subscriber Only

December Gain in Retail Sales Gives U.S. a Lift: Economy

Retail sales rose in December as frigid temperatures prodded Americans to buy discounted winter clothing and shop online for the holidays, capping what may have been the strongest quarter for consumer spending in three years.

Purchases increased 0.2 percent after a 0.4 percent advance in November, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Excluding a drop in auto demand that vehicle makers also partly attributed to the bad weather, sales jumped by the most in almost a year.