Newsstand magazine sales down 10 percent in US

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. magazine sales at newsstands and other retailers dropped 10 percent in the second half of 2011, a sign that Americans are still careful about discretionary spending and impulse purchases.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations said Tuesday that overall circulation including subscriptions was down just 1 percent. But the decline in single-copy sales is a troubling sign for publishers. That’s because they make more money from retail sales than from subscriptions, which are typically sold at a discount.

The industry group says single-copy sales totaled 28.9 million in the last six months of 2011. That’s down from 32.1 million in the same period in 2010. It’s slightly bigger than the 9 percent decline seen in the first half of the year.

Cosmopolitan was still the top-selling magazine at newsstands.