Retail Sales Take Steep Plunge

Fall twice as far as anticipated
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2009 8:38 AM CST
Staff remove posters of their closing sales at a branch of Woolworths in Camden Town, north London, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009 as they close for the final time.    (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
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(Newser) – Retail sales fell more than twice as much as analysts predicted in December, thanks to mounting job losses and reduced credit, Bloomberg reports. Sales fell 2.7%, extending the longest string of declines on record to 6 consecutive months. Purchases excluding automobiles slid 3.1%. “Consumers are pulling back,” said one economist. “The first half is going to be bleak in terms of consumer spending and economic activity.”