Retailers report higher December sales
by Associated Press Wire
January 03, 2013 11:50 AM | 597 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 photo, a shopper carries a bag at the Dolphin Mall in Miami. A last-minute surge in spending helped many major U.S. retailers report better-than-expected sales in December, a relief for stores that make up to 40 percent of annual revenue during the holiday period. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 photo, a shopper carries a bag at the Dolphin Mall in Miami. A last-minute surge in spending helped many major U.S. retailers report better-than-expected sales in December, a relief for stores that make up to 40 percent of annual revenue during the holiday period. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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Shoppers walk past a a large sale sign as people take advantage of cut pricing in shops on London's Oxford Street, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Retailers are expecting large numbers of shoppers for their post Christmas sales. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Shoppers walk past a a large sale sign as people take advantage of cut pricing in shops on London's Oxford Street, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Retailers are expecting large numbers of shoppers for their post Christmas sales. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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NEW YORK (AP) — A last-minute surge in spending helped many major retailers report better-than-expected sales in December, a relief for stores that make up to 40 percent of annual revenue during the holiday period.

Consumers had a lot to worry about this holiday, including the possibility of the U.S. economy falling off the “fiscal cliff.” But after spending cautiously during most of the season, they loosened their purse strings in the final shopping days.

Twenty retailers reported sales in December rose an average of 4.5 percent compared with the year-ago period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s on the high end of the expected range of 4 percent to 4.5 percent. Costco, Nordstrom and TJX Cos. were among the best performers. Target and Barnes & Noble had weaker results.

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