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People shop inside a Target store during Black Friday sales in the Brooklyn borough of New York, November 29, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

U.S. retail sales, inventory data suggest strong fourth-quarter growth

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By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales edged up in December with a core spending gauge posting a big jump, a sign the economy gathered steam at the end of last year and was poised for stronger growth in 2014.


The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that retail sales gained 0.2 percent last month, even as receipts at automobile dealers recorded their biggest drop in more than a year.

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