WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
Much of the shortfall comes from Superstorm Sandy, which caused sales declines after striking the East Coast in late October.
And consumers grew increasingly nervous as lawmakers failed to reach a deal to head off tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect in early 2013.
The SpendingPulse number tracks sales of popular holiday goods, including electronics, jewelry and clothing, in the two months before Christmas. That's a crucial period for retailers.
Not Welcome in Umpqua: Armed Protest May Greet President's Attempt to Exploit Tragedy - Bearing Arms - Barack Obama, Mass Shooting, Oregon, Umpqua Community College
Recycling: The Triumph of Feel-Goodism over Common Sense
Thomas Sowell - Charlatans and Sheep: Part II
'Pathetic!' Hey, media lickspittles: You won't like this truth-boom question from James Woods, but we LOVE it
The War on America Turns 50 | Human Events
Trey Gowdy on Kevin McCarthy’s Hillary comments: Apologizing doesn’t fix the damage to the Benghazi committee
Ted Cruz finds a question that the Sierra Club DARED not answer. | RedState