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Sales at Shopping Centers Boomed in December

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Depending on which figures you go by, the recently-completed holiday shopping season was either pretty good or pretty bad.

Right after Christmas Day, MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse unit reported holiday sales rose a mere 0.7 percent compared to the same period in 2011, representing the slowest growth in spending since 2008, when the U.S. was in the full throes of what has been since termed the “Great Recession.”

Worries about the fiscal cliff and the effects of Hurricane Sandy were blamed for the sluggish sales.

But on Thursday, the International Council of Shopping Centers said that sales at the stores in its group were up an average of 4.5 percent from December 2011.

Two of the ICSC's best performers were high-end retailer Nordstrom and wholesaler Costco.

So factoring in these figures, along with better than expected car sales last month, holiday shoppers might have been a bit more jolly than first believed.

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ABC News Radio