U.S. retail rises for fourth month

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau released its estimate of December retail sales for December, totaling $495.4 billion, an increase of 0.4% from November and 5.4% above December 2016. Total sales for the 12 months of 2017 were up 4.2 % from 2016. Sales for the final quarter of the year (beginning October) rose by 5.5% from the same period a year ago. The change from October to November was revised from a 0.8% to a 0.9% increase.