Consumer Spending Continues to Rise

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Retail sales are up for the sixth straight month in a row, hinting that the economy is on a slow, but progressive rebound.

In November, consumers spent more money on cars, furniture and clothes, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Holiday shopping was the primary cause of the modest 0.2 percent increase.

Americans spent $52.4 billion over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

The higher sales in furniture and autos suggested that consumers made more big purchases in November. "Core" sales that don't include autos, gasoline and building materials rose for an 11th straight month.

Although spending gains weren't as big as in October, the department said more spending on retail goods shows the economy continues to grow at a slow, but steady pace.

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