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December retail sales drop 1.9% due to shortage, omicron

Americans, plagued by product shortages, soaring prices and the emergence of omicrons, slashed their spending sharply in December after a fall spending boom helped boost the holiday season.

NEW YORK – Americans, beset by product shortages, soaring prices and the emergence of omicrons, slashed their spending sharply in December after a spending boom in early fall helped boost push holiday.

In December, retail sales fell 1.9% seasonally adjusted month-over-month as sales rose 0.3%, the US Commerce Department said on Friday. .

Sales at department stores fell 7%. Restaurant sales fell 0.8% and online sales fell 8.7%.

Omicron was identified by the World Health Organization in late November, and the Commerce Department’s December report was the first to document some of its effects on consumer behavior.

The monthly retail report only covers about a third of total consumer spending and doesn’t include money spent on things like haircuts, hotel stays or airline tickets, all of which are trending downwards. decrease when anxiety about COVID-19 soars.

The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, is releasing last month’s sales figures and is expected to release actual holiday sales results late Friday. It expects record growth between 8.5% and 10.5% year-on-year, despite the challenges faced by shoppers and stores.

The omicron variation has led to widespread worker shortages that have people complaining of illness, including in the retail sector, and supply shortages have reduced what they can sell. Shops and restaurants have cut their operating hours or remain closed on the days they were previously open.

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/december-retail-sales-slide-19-amid-shortages-omicron-82264798 December retail sales drop 1.9% due to shortage, omicron

Emma Bowman

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