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WASHINGTON DC-Retail sales in November jumped 7.8% from the same period last year, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. November sales, which totaled $344.4 billion, increased by 0.1% from October.

From September through November, total sales rose 7.8% over the same stretch last year. And from September to October sales inched up 0.8%.

Gasoline stations led all sectors with a 24% year-over-year jump last month. Building and garden supplies stores followed, increasing 12.8% from last year. Department stores posted the lowest year-on-year improvement of all sectors measured, rising 0.9%.

The report follows the International Council of Shopping Centers report earlier in the month on November’s same-store sales. The organization, called them “disappointingly weak” after retailers posted a 1.7% year-over-year hike.

ICSC is predicting that chain stores will see a 3% to 4% year-over-year improvement during the holiday season. Lehman Bros. also forecasts the same jump.

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