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Retail Sales Rose As 2012 Ended; Inflation Remained In Check

Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in December from November, the Census Bureau says. That may be a sign that as 2012 ended consumers were still in a shopping mood even as lawmakers in Washington struggled to keep the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff.

Bloomberg News says the better-than-expected sales figure, which is adjusted to hopefully smooth out the effects of the holidays and show the "real" growth, is a sign that consumers were looking "beyond the year-end budget battle among U.S. lawmakers."

"Consumers continue to spend at a decent pace," Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, told Bloomberg.

Such spending is critical: Consumers purchase about 70 percent of the goods and services companies produce.

For the year, retail sales were up 5.2 percent.

Also this morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that wholesale prices declined 0.2 percent in December from November and were up just 1.3 percent for the year.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
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Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
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The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

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FBI Investigates Possible Russian Connection To Leaked DNC Emails

Hackers tied to two Russian intelligence agencies breached DNC computers in May, but whether the same hackers turned over thousands of emails to WikiLeaks is still under investigation.

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