Pennie follows her owner as he shops along Lincoln Road Mall on the day before Christmas on December 24, 2013 in Miami, Beach Florida. Retail stores were boosted by last minute shoppers but not by enough to make it a jolly season.
(Photo: Joe Raedle Getty Images)
USA TODAY - Retail sales rose 0.2% in December from the previous month, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. The results confirm the season was a lackluster one, raising concerns about consumer spending in the new year.
The median forecast was for a 0.2% increase, according to Action Economics' survey of 26 economists.
The results include the key shopping days leading up to Christmas, but not the busy day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday.
This year it also included the increasingly busy Monday after Thanksgiving. known as Cyber Monday, which fell on Dec. 2 this year. Most retailers feature deep online discounts that day.
The Commerce Department also lowered the sales increase for November to 0.4% from 0.7%. October's increase was cut one-tenth to 0.5%.
Retailers have been cutting earnings forecasts for the current quarter, citing concerns about spending already this month.
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