U.S. retail sales tumble in December amid shortages

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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales dropped by the most in 10 months in December, weighed down by shortages and spiraling COVID-19 infections, which could temper expectations that economic growth accelerated sharply in the fourth quarter. Americans started their holiday shopping in October to avoid empty shelves, which pulled sales away from December. Sales could weaken further in January as raging coronavirus infections, driven by the Omicron variant, limit consumer traffic to places like restaurants and bars. “The weakness in December was likely more about the timing o…

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