Holiday retail sales are the lowest since 2008

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NATION –  It’s seems like Santa was on a budget this year.  According to most reports the 2012 holiday shopping has been the worst since 2008.  It’s no wonder President Obama came back from his Hawaii vacation.  It’s not only the fiscal cliff he will have to deal with but our decaying spending spirit.

Sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods in the two months prior to Christmas increased by a mere 0.7 percent compared to the 2 percent increase reported in the same period last year.   Wal-Mart and Gap are two of the chains that fared well this season, but companies like Barnes & Noble don’t know where to put the books they didn’t sell.   But that’s good news for consumers.  As retailers will have to get rid of stock, you can expect a lot of post-Christmas discounts in the days to come.

For some stores it appears the holiday season started and ended on Black Friday.  Either customers lost their credit cards while fighting the crowds or they decided there’s no need for expensive gifts: in times of financial uncertainty, good intentions may be all the gifts people need.  As long as they come wrapped in pretty paper of course.