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Americans ramped up spending at retail businesses in November, providing a boost to the economy just in time for the holidays.
But traditional retail stores didn’t benefit as much from the latest burst of spending. Consumers bought more cars, electronics, furniture and other big-ticket items. They also did more shopping online. Those trends reflect changes in consumers’ shopping habits and in the broader economy.
Total retail sales rose 0.7 percent in November, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It was the biggest gain in five months. And spending at retail businesses rose 0.6 percent in October, higher than previously estimated.
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