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US retail data shows recovery

American retailers received a boost yesterday, as the latest figures showed that falling consumer demand began to flatten out, ending a period of sharp declines. August sales figures from top retail chains showed a drop in demand, but the fall was significantly less violent than in recent months. Retail Metrics, which tracks monthly sales figures for retailers, said sales numbers had seen a 2.3 per cent decline, compared to 4-5 per cent falls in previous months. The figures were the best since September last year, said Risk Metrics.