US sees weakest holiday retail season since 2008

This data may show how close to the precipice of recession our economy really is. The MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse Report issued on Chistmas day said 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.

The Spending Pulse data include sales by retailers in key holiday spending categories such as electronics, clothing, jewelry, luxury goods, furniture and other home goods between Oct. 28 and Dec. 24. They include sales across all payment methods, including cards, cash and checks.

Many retailers and consumer goods manufacturers generate about 40-60% of their annual sales during the two months prior to Christmas, and a weak holiday season translates into lower than expected sales that cannot be recouped until next year.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • awfulorv

    Many of us do not give a fig about the retailers plight. I’ve even read that they are “Disappointed” with consumers for the frugality they practiced during the holiday season, poor babies. Matter of fact there is one, annoying, no two, free speech bans I’d be for, one would be to curtail the idiots from going to Jared, and the, cloying, beginning each kiss with a K, and other, similar, jingles. The other would be those phony, bible thumping, TV preachers swindling little old ladies out of their cat food money.

    • Rob

      We need to stop equating consumption with economic health.