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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Retail Sales in December 2010

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Friday, January 14, 2011

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for December and the full year of 2010.  Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in December and 6.6 percent for the full year, representing strong annual growth and the sixth consecutive monthly gain. December’s increase was slightly below private-sector expectations of a 0.8-percent gain. Excluding automobiles, retail sales grew 0.5 percent in December and a strong 5.9 percent for the full year of 2010. Sales at motor vehicle dealers increased 1.1 percent. 

“As we reflect on the past year, today’s data underscore that retail sales – a fundamental indicator of economic health – grew at a strong pace throughout the second half of 2010, signaling momentum in consumer spending and the overall economy,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Our mission in 2011 is accelerated hiring for the American people and accelerated growth for the U.S. economy, and we will continue to fight for every job, every business and every opportunity to achieve this mission."

Report (PDF)