US holiday retail sales growth weakest since 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) - US holiday retail sales this year were the weakest since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers' rising uncertainty about the economy.
A report that tracks spending on popular holiday goods, the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said Tuesday that sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent, compared with last year. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3 to 4 percent.
In 2008, sales declined by between 2 percent and 4 percent as the financial crisis that crested that fall dragged the economy into recession.
Last year, by contrast, retail sales in November and December rose between 4 per cent and 5 per cent, according to ShopperTrak, a separate market research firm. A 4 per cent increase is considered a healthy season.