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Holiday sales rose 3 percent, retail group says

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013

The announcement followed the Commerce Department's release on Tuesday of overall sales figures for December. Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in December from November, according to the government data. That's slightly better than November's 0.4 percent increase and the best showing since September.

Shoppers were grappling with a number of issues. Superstorm Sandy, which pummeled the Northeast in late October, hurt sales in the beginning of November, as businesses and households were disrupted. Then the national election caused shoppers to delay. Consumers were also worried about tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff. Congress and the White House ultimately reached a deal on Jan. 1 that prevented income taxes from rising for most households

So after a solid spending spree over the Thanksgiving weekend, sales limped along until the final days before Christmas, when stores were forced to discount more than they had planned to woo back shoppers.