WASHINGTON (AP) -- Retail sales edged down by a smaller-than-expected 0.1 percent in December as consumers showed resilience in the face of the recession and rising unemployment.
The tiny decline reported by the Commerce Department Tuesday mainly stemmed from a 4.2 percent drop in sales at gasoline stations, reflecting lower prices at the pump.
While sales of sporting goods and building supplies declined, many other categories, including home furnishings, electronics and appliances, and clothing, saw sales post solid gains in December.
Sales of cars inched down by a tiny 0.1 percent, following a steep 10.3 percent drop in November, as free-financing deals and other incentives waned.
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