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Holiday Sales Rose 3 Percent, Retail Group Says
Early hopes for a great season of holiday sales were let down when consumer uncertainty over the state of the economy and the upcoming fiscal cliff led to a slow growth in sales. Figures show that the 2012 holiday retail season grew at the slowest rate since 2009.
Excerpt: "The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail industry group, said Tuesday that retail sales for November and December combined totaled $579.8 billion. December sales rose 2.1 percent while November sales rose 3.9 percent, according the federation's analysis of government data. The figures are being compared with the year-ago periods.
Holiday sales rose 5.6 percent in 2011 and 5.5 percent in 2010. The 2012 holiday figures marked the slowest sales growth since 2009, when sales rose 0.3 percent.
For the first time, the federation is counting online sales and sales from the auto parts and accessories business. But even non-store sales, which includes online sales, were below expectations for the two-month period. They rose 11 percent, below the 12 percent that the industry projected."