Retail Sales Fall Again in November

Shoppers walk inside a large mall in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. The government says retail sales fell in July, the weakest performance in five months. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers cut back on spending at retail
stores for a record fifth straight month in November amid a
recession that is already the longest in a quarter-century.
The Commerce Department says retail sales dropped by 1.8 percent
last month. The decline, which was slightly below the 1.9 percent
dip that had been expected, was the fifth straight monthly drop, a
stretch of weakness never before seen on the government's retail
sales records.
The weakness was led by a 2.8 percent fall in auto sales, a
decline that had been expected given that automakers already had
reported that November was their worst sales month in more than 26

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