“Activity in the broad service sector gained momentum in December, bolstered by improvement in the non-retail services subsector,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond service-sector activity survey, released Tuesday.

“However, total retail sales slowed and big-ticket sales weakened compared to November’s survey. Shopper traffic flattened at retail establishments,” the survey said. “At non-retail services firms, revenues rose sharply in December. Survey participants were upbeat about business prospects for the first half of 2012.”

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