Retail sales weak, jobless claims up last week


Reuters
January 12, 2012

Retail sales rose at the weakest pace in seven months in December and first-time claims for jobless benefits moved higher last week, signs the economic recovery remains shaky despite a pick-up in growth.

Total retail sales increased 0.1 percent after rising by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in November, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

“The retail sales (data) suggests that spending isn’t really picking up any momentum,” said Sean Incremona, economist at 4Cast Ltd in New York.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales climbing 0.3 percent last month.

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