Bloomberg (12/26/12) Cotton Timberlake
U.S. holiday sales growth slowed by more than half this year after gridlock in Washington soured consumers’ moods and Hurricane Sandy disrupted shopping, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. Retail sales grew by 0.7% from Oct. 28 through Dec. 24, the Purchase, NY, research firm said yesterday. Sales grew at a 2% pace in the same period a year ago.
“You are looking at modest to marginal growth from a year ago,” says Michael McNamara, a SpendingPulse vice president. “Weather events and the fiscal debate both anchored the season in terms of growth. The media coverage, which did a good job of explaining the negative consequences of the fiscal cliff, created this negative trend in consumer confidence and spending.” The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slid to 72.9, the weakest since July, from 82.7 in November.