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U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall the Most in Nine Years

  • Broad December drop also coincided with government shutdown
  • ‘Control group’ gauge drops most since 2001 terror attacks
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U.S. December Retail Sales Suffer Biggest Drop in Nine Years
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U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in December, posting the worst drop in nine years in a sign of slower economic momentum at year-end amid financial market turmoil and the government shutdown.

The value of overall sales fell 1.2 percent from the prior month after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent increase in November, according to Commerce Department figures released Thursday after a four-week delay due to the shutdown. That missed all economist estimates in a Bloomberg survey that had called for a 0.1 percent gain.