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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:25 AM

Shoppers disappoint retailers this holiday season [View all]

Source: AP-Excite

By DANIEL WAGNER

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.

Sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent compared with last year, according to the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report.

That was below the healthy 3 to 4 percent growth that analysts had expected - and it was the worst year-over-year performance since 2008, when spending shrank sharply during the Great Recession. In 2011, retail sales climbed 4 to 5 percent during November and December, according to ShopperTrak.

This year's shopping season was marred by bad weather and rising uncertainty about the economy in the face of possible tax hikes and spending cuts early next year. Some analysts say the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., earlier this month may also have chipped away at shoppers' enthusiasm.

FULL story at link.



Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20121226/DA3DA1J01.html





In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, photo, a holiday shoppers reflected in a ornament handing from a large Christmas tree at Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, Calif. Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. U.S. holiday retail sales this year are the weakest since 2008, after a shopping season disrupted by storms and rising uncertainty among consumers. A report out Tuesday that tracks spending, called MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, says holiday sales increased 0.7 percent. Analysts had expected sales to grow 3 to 4 percent. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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