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America’s indefatigable shoppers delivered in December

What a nice way to end the year. US retail sales showed better-than-expected momentum in December, rising 0.2% over November. (It might not sound like much but it was better than the consensus expectation for a 0.1% rise.) Moreover, the so-called core measure of retail sales—which strips out volatile components such as food, gasoline and auto sales—rose 0.7%, the best number since July 2012. Momentum like this should not be ignored in an economy dominated by domestic consumption.

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