12 January 2012 22:42 [Source: ICIS news]
The flat sales figures for December were seen as disappointing by economists, many of whom had predicted a 0.3% bump in consumer buying amid the peak holiday shopping period of the year.
Consumer spending is the principal driving force of the
Although the December numbers were well below expectations, the department noted that retail sales during the critical last three months of the year were up by 7% from the same period in 2010.
Citing the three-month year-end figures, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said the data was “welcome news for an economic recovery that continues to be sluggish”.
NRF president Matthew Shay said while “the economy still has a critical hold on consumers’ purchase decisions, this strength in spending could continue into 2012”.
($1 = €0.79)
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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