Washington, DC, Jan. 15, 2013 -- Retail sales rose more than expected in December, the Commerce Department said.
Sales increased 0.5% after an upwardly revised 0.4% rise in November. Sales in November were previously reported to have gained 0.3%.
Economists had expected sales to rise only 0.2%. Sales were up 4.7% from December 2011 and rose 5.2% for the whole of 2012.
Core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline and building materials, increased 0.6% after rising 0.5% in November.