In its final verdict on the 2012 holiday season, the National Retail Federation said retail sales rose 3 percent to $579.8 billion and fell below the 4.1 percent gain to $586.1 billion projected in October.
The pace through 2013 is expected to stay about the same, with the International Council of Shopping Centers forecasting a 3 percent gain. Retailing continues to show signs of recovery, but its rate of improvement has been hampered by the ongoing economic uncertainties around the world and politics in Washington impeding progress on negotiating resolutions on tax reform, spending cuts and the debt ceiling.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"