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U.S. holiday sales growth was just 0.7 per cent this year, missing expectations, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.There was a drop in consumer confidence and it was primarily due to the media, said SpendingPulse.
SpendingPulse VP Michael McNamara said that it’s the media coverage of the fiscal cliff — that is, not the fiscal cliff itself — that’s killing consumer confidence and spending.
“You are looking at modest to marginal growth from a year ago … 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.”
Other things that impacted consumers’ moods were Hurricane Sandy and the horrific shootings in Newtown, CT.
Consumer confidence fell to a five-month low in December, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.