Most retailers don’t post their official December sales results until tomorrow, but early data coming in doesn’t look all that promising.According to reports on MasterCard’s latest SpendingPulse survey, which tracks transaction data, apparel and department-store sales fell 18.3% in December.But for those of you who think the media has caused this recession with news of doom and gloom, we have a treat. Sales fell MORE in November, clocking in at a 20.2% year over year. So things are really looking up!Areas that showed improvement were men’s apparel, which fell 11.3% versus 16.1%, and electronics and appliances, dropping 21.4% instead of 25%.We’ll see what happens when the real data comes out Thursday. Stay tuned.

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