By  on January 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — Sales at apparel specialty stores and department stores rose in December despite the nation’s fiscal uncertainty at the end of the year, while sales at discounters remained soft, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s monthly retail sales report released on Wednesday.

Apparel and accessories stores posted a 1 percent seasonally adjusted increase in sales to $20.3 billion in December compared with November, while sales at department stores rose 0.3 percent to $15 billion last month. Sales at general merchandise stores, a category that includes department stores and discounters, were flat at $51.9 billion.

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