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Dec. CE/Majap Retail Sales Flat: Feds

1/12/2012 12:18:49 PM Eastern

Washington - Retail sales were flat in December for the
nation's CE and major appliance retailers, and edged up just 0.4 percent for
the year, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today.

According to the agency's monthly retail sales estimates,
the CE/majap specialty channel generated $13 billion last month, essentially
unchanged from the year-ago period, and $100.9 billion in annual revenue in
2011.

Interestingly, December sales fell 3.9 percent from
November, suggesting that the Thanksgiving holiday period, which included the
big Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days, pulled business forward
significantly from Christmas.

Total retail sales, which include non-general merchandise
categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased a strong
7.7 percent year over year, the Commerce Department reported.