NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer spending, while selective, is gaining traction. While the headline increase of only 0.2 percent in December was on the weak side, the core retail sales were up a firmer 0.7 percent. Despite the weather-dampened job advance in December, job growth on average has been solid. Rising household wealth from improving housing and stock markets fed the upscale market. There might be a falloff in retail sales growth in January, but that has more to do with inclement weather, and will likely be followed by a recovery in February. The resilient American shopper is likely to spend increased wages in the first half of 2014 – on replacement furniture and household appliances, even if they are not on sale. And that could be the big economic story for the entire first half of 2014.
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