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U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Slump 1.2% In December

Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a significant decrease in the month of December, according to delayed data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

The Commerce Department said retail sales tumbled by 1.2 percent in December after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in November.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.2 percent, matching the uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a jump in auto sales, retail sales plunged by an even steeper 1.8 percent in December after coming in unchanged in November. Ex-auto sales had been expected to edge up by 0.1 percent.

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