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Retail sales dropped 1.9% in December

Shoppers walk through Macy's retail store in Herald Square on Black Friday in New York City on Friday, November 26, 2021.&nbsp; Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/56c0b961667ee6686ecece6f00b7c4ee/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Shoppers walk through Macy's retail store in Herald Square on Black Friday in New York City on Friday, November 26, 2021.  Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Retail sales dropped 1.9% in December compared to November sales, the Commerce Department said Friday.

December 2021 retail sales were $626.8 billion. While down compared with November numbers, December retail sales were 19.3% higher than December 2020 figures.

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Total sales for the 12 months of 2021 were up 19.3% from 2020, according to the report.

Economic disruptions from the Omicron COVID-19 variant have strained the supply chain, and inflation is pushing retail prices higher.

The Census Bureau's Friday report said Internet retail sales in December took the biggest hit, declining by 8.7%. Department store sales declined 7% in December.

The Census Bureau compiles these figures from the Advance Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services Survey to provide an early estimate of monthly sales by kind of business.

It mails questionnaires each month to approximately 5,500 employer firms selected from the larger Monthly Retail Survey.

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