``... adjusted retail sales ex gasoline was up 0.1% in December from the previous month and up 4.5% year-over-year. However, it's down 5.4% from its all-time high in June 2005. The Great Recession of the Financial Crisis is behind us, a close analysis of the adjusted data suggests that the recovery has been frustratingly slow. The sobering reality is that, in "real" terms -- adjusted for population growth and inflation -- consumer sales remain at the level we saw about three months into the last recession.''

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