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Sales at U.S. retailers increased more than forecast in November and optimism among small businesses rose to a three-year high, signaling the economy was gaining momentum as the holiday season began.
The 0.8 percent gain in purchases followed a 1.7 percent jump in October that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The National Federation of Independent Businessís sentiment gauge rose by 1.5 points to 93.2, the highest since December 2007, as more companies projected sales will grow.