American consumers spent enough in December to lift sales to a record level for 2011. It marked the largest annual increase in consumer spending in more than a decade.
The Commerce Department said Thursday it was the second straight month that sales topped $400 billion. Never before had monthly sales reached that level.
For all of 2011, sales totaled a record $4.7 trillion, a gain of nearly 8 percent over 2010. It was the largest percentage increase since 1999.
(READ the full AP story in St. Louis Today)