Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Online shopping pushes US retail sales up 0.4pc in December

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AFP, Washington :
A holiday season jump in online shopping sent US retail sales higher in December, and helped push 2017 sales to their biggest gain in three years, the government reported Friday.
The gains came despite falling sales at department stores and other traditional brick and mortar retailers, according to the monthly report from the Commerce Department.
Total retail sales rose to $495.4 billion in the final month of the year, a 0.4 percent increase compared to November.
Sales for all of last year rose 4.2 percent, the biggest increase since 2014, outpacing the 3.2 percent rise in 2016, according to the report.
Another closely-watched measure of sales-excluding autos-also increased 0.4 percent in the month, and posted a gain of 4.3 for the full year, which was the biggest increase since 2011.
Auto sales rose 0.2 percent last month. The biggest gains came in the category known as "nonstore retailers" which rose 1.2 percent in the month and were up nearly 13 percent compared to the same month of last year.
Meanwhile, traditional retailers, despite reports of healthy sales from some stores during the holiday shopping season, continue to struggle.  Department store sales declined 1.1 percent from the prior month, while sporting goods stores fell 1.6 percent.

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