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This still suggests consumption was growing fast in Q4, but Q4 GDP estimates probably will remain in the +3% area after this disappointment. YOY sales are +6.65% vs -6.5% in 2009 and -0.8% in 2008. Dec sales were held down by -0.6% electronics, -0.6% food, and -0.2% clothing (severe seasonal adj took away about 40% of the NSA gain). Sales gains were seen in furniture +1.0%, bldg mats +2.0% (a rebound after -1.1% in Nov), healthcare +1.6%, and sporting goods +0.4%. Autos were +1.1% and gasoline +1.6% (mainly on price gains). Overall sales had a good Dec and full-yr showing, just not as robust as chain store results alone suggested.
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