News Summary: December retail sales rise

News Summary: Higher December revenue figure paints rosier picture of holiday shopping season

Associated Press

THE NEWS: Major retailers said a key revenue figure rose in December, helped by a last minute surge of holiday shopping.

THE CONTEXT: Retailers including Costco, Gap and Nordstrom on Thursday reported better-than-expected December revenue. That was a relief for stores that can make up to 40 percent of their annual revenue during the winter holiday shopping period.

BY THE NUMBERS: Twenty retailers reported revenue at stores open at least a year — a figure that indicates a retailers' health — rose 4.5 percent in December compared with the year-ago period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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