The U.S. Census Bureau reported this morning that U.S. retail and food services sales for December were $380.9 billion, up 0.6% from the previous month.
Even better news came from the comparison to last year -- December sales were up 7.9% from December 2009. And Total sales for the October through December 2010 period were up 7.8% from the same period a year ago.
Looking specifically at NAICS classification 444 -- Building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers -- advanced sales in December were $25.224 billion, up 2.0% from $24.734 billion in November 2010, and up 13.1% from $22.298 billion in December 2009.
All the figures above are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.