US retail sales plunge in December

January 15th, 2009 - 3:39 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 15 (DPA) Retail sales in the US plunged in December as holiday shoppers cut back on spending and ignored big sales incentives, the Commerce Department said in its initial estimate Wednesday.Sales tumbled to $343.2 billion, down 9.8 percent compared to December 2007 and down 2.7 percent from November, worse than economists expected.

US retailers have suffered their worst holiday shopping season in decades, failing to lure in shoppers despite offers of savings and other incentives ahead of Christmas.

The December figures represented the sixth consecutive monthly fall in sales, the longest stretch since 1992. Sales between October and December plunged 7.7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.

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