Retail Sales Plunge

By: Martin Crutsinger (AP)
By: Martin Crutsinger (AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Retail sales plunged far more than expected in December, a record sixth straight monthly decline as consumers were battered by a prolonged recession, a severe credit crisis and soaring job losses.

The Commerce Department says retail sales dropped 2.7 percent last month, more than double the 1.2 percent decline that Wall Street expected.

The weakness in consumer spending has been a prime contributing factor to the economy's current swoon and analysts say they don't see that turning around soon. They predict the current recession, already the longest in a quarter-century, will continue at least until the second half of this year.


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