Caps strongest year for sales growth since 2014

WASHINGTON—Spending at U.S. retailers rose in December for the fourth consecutive month, capping the strongest year for sales growth since 2014 and showing a continued surge in online retail sales while department-store spending slowed during a key month of the holiday shopping season.

Retail sales—a measure of consumer spending at stores, restaurants and websites—increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in December from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday, matching expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall...

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