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Black Friday (shopping)
Holiday retail sales growth was better than expected

A rebounding economy and big discounts encouraged Americans to spend more briskly in stores than expected during the winter holiday shopping season. Sales at 1,000 retail chains nationwide rose 4.6% to $270.1 billion in November and December, ShopperTrak, a Chicago technology company, said Thursday. The results beat ShopperTrak's forecast for a 3.8% increase and marked the strongest growth since 2005, when sales rose 5.2%. The ShopperTrak data offer an early glimpse of holiday spending, although they do not include online sales. A fuller picture comes next week when the National Retail Federation releases its holiday results based on government data that includes online sales. The...

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