8 of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month increases.
The December gain was mainly supported by higher sales at: gardening and building material stores (1.2 percent vs 0.5 percent in November); motor vehicle & parts dealers (0.2 percent vs -1 percent); furniture & home furniture stores (0.6 percent vs 0.5 percent); food & beverage stores (0.5 percent vs 0.4 percent); health & personal care stores (0.4 percent, the same pace as in November); general merchandise stores (0.1 percent vs 0.3 percent); nonstore retailers (1.2 percent vs 4.2 percent); and food services & drinking places (0.7 percent vs 0.5 percent).
Meanwhile, sales at service stations were unchanged last month, after a 3 percent jump in November. Additional downward pressure came from lower sales at: electronics & appliance stores (-0.2 percent vs 2.4 percent); clothing & clothing accessories stores (-0.3 percent vs 0.6 percent); sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores (-1.6 percent vs 0.2 percent); and miscellaneous store retailers (-2.9 percent vs 3.8 percent).
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales increased 0.3 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.4 percent surge in November.
Year-on, year, retail trade grew 5.4 percent, easing from a 6 percent increase in the previous month.
Considering 2017 as a whole, sales advanced 4.2 percent compared to 3.2 percent in 2016.