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Excluding car sales and gas-station sales, retail sales climbed 0.3 percent in November from the previous month as consumers spent more on clothes, electronics, food and furniture, the Commerce Department reported.
That could support the theory that there was some pent up demand out there as consumers cut expenditures in previous months.
Overall, U.S. retail sales fell 1.8% in November because of lower demand for cars and falling gasoline prices, but that was less than expected, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, retail sales fell 7.4 percent vs. November 2008.