By  on December 11, 2013

WASHINGTON — Economists and retail analysts expect moderate growth in consumer spending and retail sales heading into the first half of 2014, despite an unexpected drop in consumer confidence in November.

A strong stock market, stable employment situation and rising housing prices point to strong fundamentals in the economy heading into the holidays and next year. But the surprising dip in consumer confidence in November forced some economists to slightly lower their forecasts and early holiday sales have been disappointing.

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