Holiday spending down significantly

I have been skeptical of the National Retail Federation’s reports about holiday shopping.  First, they reported that people wouldn’t be increasing their holiday spending as much as anticipated.  Then they reported that people were “procrastinating” in making their purchases.  They haven’t released any post mortems on the holiday shopping season but they did request Obama offer a sales tax holiday as part of his stimulus package to help retailers.

However, there is a report out on holiday spending and it isn’t pretty.  While sales overall were down between 5% and 8%, that was helped by the decline in consumer prices, driven by lower energy costs.  In the apparel, electronics and luxury sectors, spending was down between 20%- 35%.  Ouch.

Full report

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