Jan. 15 - U.S. retail sales were up 5.2 percent in 2012 and rose solidly in December as Americans shrugged off the fiscal cliff drama and went shopping. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit today is 5.2. U.S. retail sales were up 5.2% in 2012, and ended the year with a bang as Americans shrugged off the threat of higher taxes and bought cars, furniture and clothes. Internet spending was also a bright spot. The gains could be another good sign for fourth-quarter growth. Despite an uptick in first-time applications for jobless claims, the labor market continues to grow at a moderate pace, which supports consumer spending. Also, the economy has been showing some muscle in other sectors, which could put consumers in a relatively good shopping mood... factory activity, government spending, and a rise in exports are all factors pointing to modest economic growth. But higher taxes which kicked in this month and a looming fight over raising the debt ceiling could put a dent in spending as the year begins.