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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/.

NPR

After Sketchy Science, Shark Week Promises To Turn Over A New Fin

Shark Week is here, and scientists are afraid. Not of the toothy swimmers — but of inaccuracies, bad science and the demonization of animals that aren't as ferocious as Discovery Channel has made out.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

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