In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, photo, holiday shoppers walk past 

In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, photo,  holiday shoppers walk past a large Christmas tree at Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, Calif. U.S. consumers increased their spending at retail businesses in December, buying more autos, furniture and clothing. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Associated Press
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, photo, holiday shoppers walk past a large Christmas tree at Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, Calif. U.S. consumers increased their spending at retail businesses in December, buying more autos, furniture and clothing. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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