Humbug: The last holiday shopping weekend falls short of expectations

posted at 4:31 pm on December 24, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The final tally for third-quarter GDP rose a bit more than initially expected, thanks largely to government spending and inventory expansion, although consumer spending did tick upwards. Fears of the consequences of the fiscal cliff have been taking their toll on investor confidence for awhile now, and there have been signs that consumer confidence is finally starting to catch up with that pessimism — the outlook in consumer spending for the fourth quarter isn’t looking too good.

The Saturday before Christmas was expected to be the second biggest sales day after Black Friday, and retailers have been stepping up the deals and discounts — but to little avail, reports the AP:

Talk about more than just the usual job worries to cloud the mood: Confidence among U.S. consumers dipped to its lowest point in December since July amid rising economic worries, according to a monthly index released Friday.

Marshal Cohen, chief research analyst at NPD Inc., a market research firm with a network of analysts at shopping centers nationwide, estimates customer traffic over the weekend was in line with the same time a year ago, but that shoppers seem to be spending less. …

All that spelled glum news for retailers, which can make up to 40 percent of annual sales during November and December. They were counting on the last weekend before Christmas to make up for lost dollars earlier in the season. …

After a strong Black Friday weekend, the four-day weekend that starts on Thanksgiving, when sales rose 2.7 percent, the lull that usually follows has been even more pronounced. Sales fell 4.3 percent for the week ended Dec. 15, according to the latest figures from ShopperTrak, which counts foot traffic and its own proprietary sales numbers from 40,000 retail outlets across the country. On Wednesday, ShopperTrak cut its forecast for holiday spending down to 2.5 percent growth to $257.7 billion, from prior expectations of a 3.3 percent rise.

The pervasive worries over the fiscal-cliff, combined with continued high unemployment and slackening economic indicators across all sectors, have punctured even Americans’ reliably robust Christmas spirit. But hey, I’m sure it’s all those dang Republicans’ fault, right?

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…don’t cry we’ll soon be Argentina…

rayra on December 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Let it burn… underneath the mistletoe.

Myron Falwell on December 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

You gotta love the low information voter: “hey, I think I’m gonna vote for the guy who makes me depressed about the direction the economy is going”…yeesh.

On a happier note:

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

right of the dial on December 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM

WTH is there to be optimistic about? Conservative pessimism alone can drive the economy into recession.

Charlemagne on December 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I remember watching a main stream news show when the wall came down and the eastern block fell, thousands filled the streets of, what I think was a city in Romania. Their dictator was in hiding or house arrest.

Later I switched on the 700 Club. Say what you will about Pat Robertson, but his network had footage of that same crowd that the mainstream media cut out.

The MSN showed the crowds standing and cheering in the streets… the 700 Club showed all of that.. and then this… the entire crowd got down on their knees as one in prayer… praying to God and giving thanks. It was an incredible image. Thousands getting down on their knees in prayer. Not one was standing.
And I remember Uganda.. and the murderous tyrant they had and now.. and then came revival many years ago and now they have a leader who just a few weeks ago I read, publicly asked God to forgive their nation of their sin.
And I remember. And I still hope. My hope isn’t wishful thinking. But hope grounded in truth. The promises of God to His people.

If God can come to the eastern block countries. If God can come to Uganda.. can he come still to America?
God has come to the worst of places at the most helpless of times.
Perhaps He’s not yet done with us.

I wish you all a merry Merry Christmas!

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2

Josh Groban.. What Child is This:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=brmRUlKbF7g#!

JellyToast on December 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM

… and they must not be counting firearms and related sales. That’s where everybody is spening their money, $500-1000-2000 at a pop. Easily a couple billion dollars in the last couple weeks.

rayra on December 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

WTH is there to be optimistic about? Conservative pessimism alone can drive the economy into recession.

Charlemagne on December 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

And the Socialists and low-information voters will still blame Booooooooooooosh…

Myron Falwell on December 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

All I want for Christmas is for all gubmint EBT cards to not renew.

Then we can get to remaking the country.

tom daschle concerned on December 24, 2012 at 4:49 PM

No worries…….

Baraka Claws is coming with free phones and food stamps for everyone.

ugh.

RealMc on December 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Humbug: The last holiday shopping weekend falls short of expectations

Really?

People unwilling or unable to spend given the current financial/economic uncertainty and insanely high unemployment?

Who’da thunk it?

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

VPN still working

DarkCurrent on December 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Eight days…

BigGator5 on December 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM

right of the dial on December 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Thank You and a very Merry Blessed Christmas to you and yours.
L

letget on December 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Barry sure doesn’t look worried. But then, if I was vacationing in Hawaii on the taxpayer’s dime, I wouldn’t be worried either.

It’s GOOD to be THE KING!

GarandFan on December 24, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

They can’t pay people if you rob them blind, either. But go ahead, raise those taxes some more.

Dirty Creature on December 24, 2012 at 5:23 PM

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

LOL

You and your ilk are to blame, nothing more. One of these days it may actually sink in that you’ve been incredibly ignorant – I doubt it, and yet, hope springs eternal!

Merry Christmas, nutter!

Midas on December 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

I thought this economy was poised to take off.

guess people shouldn’t vote for lady parts

Slade73 on December 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM

at least we elected our second Half White President

Slade73 on December 24, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Obama can’t understand. “Huh?! I spent 4 million dollars this Christmas!”

Slade73 on December 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

The economy was poised to take off, but then the morons elected Broncho again. It’s funny how the so-called economists are wrong almost 100% of the time. The real economists are not very optimistic. This was easily predictable by normal people.

BetseyRoss on December 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

You’re telling me…I made my Naughty & Nice list, went on a big shopping spree, and told the cashiers, “You get nothing. I get that for free.” For some reason, none of them accepted that.

Christien on December 24, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Hello All! Merry Christmas!

This year I did not purchase a Christmas tree. I decorated a palm tree with lights that I used to use on the house that I lost last year. I have given exactly 3 presents, all to my son: An original oil painting of Jimmi Hendrix, a new (refurbished 9.99 phone) and two twenty dollar bills so he can go to the movies.

But I must say, this is the best Christmas I have had in a long time. I’m no longer concerned with politics but I do check in from time to time. I think the entire system is rigged.

My New Years Resolution? To demolish the GOP and start over. We have 3 years to make this happen.

Merry Christmas my fellow travelers! Much love to all!

KWR

Key West Reader on December 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

“That’s a ‘Scrooge Christmas.’”

~Barack Obama

Christien on December 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

It’s all right for you to admit that you don’t have the faintest idea of how business works or how an employer pays out bonuses. A bonus is not a “right”.
I guess they didn’t teach that in Victim School, did they, liveasaslaveanddie?

Solaratov on December 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Barack Obama

Christien on December 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Santa?

Key West Reader on December 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Oh ye of little faith.

Hope ‘n change takes a long time, they’ve been trying since 1848 and if weren’t for pesky things like economic realities and outdated documents like the Constitution we’d have been living in the Workers’ Paradise looooong before now.

Just give President Soetoro, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and these other superior intellects a few more years and you’ll see that they and their kind were right all along!

/s obviously.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Key West Reader on December 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

It’s so nice to hear from you. You sound good.
I hope that you are well.

Merry Christmas to you and yours…
and all the blessings of the Season.

ps; don’t be a stranger.

Solaratov on December 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

That’s impossible. The vast majority of blacks, according to the exit polls, said the economy was betting better.

sentinelrules on December 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

meanwhile on the small island nation of Hawaii…

“foooooooooore!”

Slade73 on December 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Key West Reader on December 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Heh. Nice call on the sweet Jimi painting, btw.

Christien on December 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

You need to lose the idea that people are in business for the convenience of employees.

Shay on December 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Oh my God! How many other entities can you blame before you finally get to the man in charge of the economy? The man who four years away was so smitten with himself he said he was the only one capable of fixing a faltering economy and able to “lower the oceans levels”. You are pathetic. You’re delusional. And you worship obama like a god.

That’s okay though. My BIL is the same way. He voted for obama because he “saved the auto industry!” He’s been with a San Diego based pharmaceutical firm just over ten years. They weren’t willing to pursue a drug they’d been working on for a bit after the elections because the backers considered the funds directed for an unproven medicine “venture capital”. He’s laid off now. Looking to Oregon now for a job. Uncertain. You can blame the evil medicine makers now too. But before you go impugning their character, ask yourself if you’d take a cut in pay to say, help an underprivileged area community college. Travel to a foreign country pro bono publico on a mission type venture. Or do you just ask other people to make sacrifices for the betterment of their fellow man?

hawkdriver on December 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

PS, last minute shopping this year in Fayetteville NC? No sweat. Hardly any crowds at all. I actually enjoyed it.

hawkdriver on December 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I’m cutting back. Dear Liar seems to be the only one who thinks he gets $800 billion for free. That’s not how compromise works.

On a happier note:

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

right of the dial on December 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Thank you, and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family and everyone else here at Hot Air.

rbj on December 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Hardly any buying going on anywhere near my stores. All the other merchants closing early today too, no business.

Yes, the economy WAS poised to take off big time right after election day and I bet the farm on it(almost literally). But Romney blew it, so now all I got for Christmas is a stack of certified mail. Thanks GOP, Thank you President Obama!! (crr6)

Harbingeing on December 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Key West Reader on December 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Merry Christmas to you and your son!

Midas on December 24, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Makes sense, there’s scarcely a place in America selling semi-auto rifle. Been that way for a couple weeks. The AR-15: It’s like the Tickle Me Elmo of 2012.

Happy Christmas, one and all.

Sgt Steve on December 24, 2012 at 7:19 PM

They left out “Unexpectedly” from the title.

RoadRunner on December 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

The reason it’s dipping down now has nothing to do with the fiscal cliff and everything to do with post-election reality setting in.

During the campaign season everyone hears the constant lies being told by the mass media on how the economy is improving and electing Baracka will only make it recover better. (*giggle*)

But reality is setting in. The lies aren’t being thrust upon them on a daily basis as it was for most of the last 6 months and people are paying more attention to their wallets and bank accounts rather than the promises of good things right around the corner.

ButterflyDragon on December 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Starve the Looters, in turn the Moochers.

You get it, sometimes.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Actions have consequences and 2013 has not even begun.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM

If God can come to the eastern block countries. If God can come to Uganda.. can he come still to America?
God has come to the worst of places at the most helpless of times.
Perhaps He’s not yet done with us.

But first we must be driven to our knees, and we are just too spiteful a nation, too ignorant a people and way too self-centered. Not to mention Godless.

HiJack on December 24, 2012 at 9:17 PM

They left out “Unexpectedly” from the title.

RoadRunner on December 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Winner.

HiJack on December 24, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Really?

People unwilling or unable to spend given the current financial/economic uncertainty and insanely high unemployment?

Who’da thunk it?

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

47%ers do not contribute in any way to economy, they are a drag on it.

riddick on December 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Barry !BAMSTAHHHHHHH!!!!! YOU DA MANNNNNNNNNNN BAMMMMMMMY BABYYYY!!! LOVE YA BARRY OL BUDDY OL PALLLLLLL!!!!!! YAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GFan on December 204 PM

cableguy615 on December 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Talk about more than just the usual job worries to cloud the mood: Confidence among U.S. consumers dipped to its lowest point in December since July amid rising economic worries, according to a monthly index released Friday.

Because of statements like this one…

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

So, libs talking down the “job creators” (for not giving bonuses because Obama has given those bonuses/tax dollars out to non-producers like GM, Solyndra, etc…) is killing the economy? Whoa dude…

RalphyBoy on December 24, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Merry Christmas!

David Blue on December 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

c’mon Hot Air admins, give us a real christmas gift and end this moron’s incessant dipshittery.

rayra on December 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

…still a silly sour stupiddick!…but Merry Christmas anyway!

KOOLAID2 on December 25, 2012 at 2:11 AM

My New Years Resolution? To demolish the GOP and start over. We have 3 years to make this happen.

Merry Christmas my fellow travelers! Much love to all!

KWR

Key West Reader on December 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

…do it here!…do check in!
Merry Christmas lady!…I love you!

KOOLAID2 on December 25, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

What am I missing here? Large bonuses are generally issued when the past year has had significant profit margins. During lean times, you might get a $10 gift card. That’s the way it’s been at every company I’ve worked for. And nobody’s giving out big bonuses right now except for Smith & Wesson, thanks to all the gun grabbing talk being slung at us from the MFM.

Red Creek on December 25, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Not to worry, gun sales are booming. Guns are selling like hotcakes.

People are Buying Guns and Ammunition for a Reason

It should come as no surprise that when gun ownership increases, the incidence of crime decreases. People are buying guns and ammunition for a reason. That’s true in Connecticut as well where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre took place. They aren’t fools. Most of them follow the news, and almost every day they see the president on television engaging in open class warfare. They see his stooges on television, too, people like Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, and Andy Stern, former president of SEIU. They have done everything except declare war on job providers because they want to collect dues from every worker in America. Make no mistake about it: they are in it for the money.

The president and his flunkies should realize that there are consequences for incitement.

petefrt on December 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Not sure how investors can hope for Americans to spend when the “job creators” have gotten stingy with xmas bonuses, have set metrics for bonuses that they are more than aware are impossible to reach and other wage cutting measures. If you don’t pay people they can’t spend.

libfreeordie on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

i got a better idea man: they can be paid by the government NOT to work. probelm solved. who needs some stingy job creator. lets cut out the middle man.

t8stlikchkn on December 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Merry Obamass!!

royzer on December 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

royzer on December 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Merry Marxmas.

petefrt on December 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Fears of the consequences of the fiscal cliff Obama’s reelection have been taking their toll on investor confidence for awhile now, and there have been signs that consumer confidence is finally starting to catch up with that pessimism — the outlook in consumer spending for the fourth quarter isn’t looking too good.

FIXORD to reflect reality.

IMHO, consumer and investor confidence was high in the summer because most Americans thought that the successful hard working businessman was going to be president.

jukin3 on December 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM

LOLz I spent 60 bucks on 2 kids. I did not even buy a tree this year like I always do.

watertown on December 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

rayra on December 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

My S&W put me back around $500.00.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

watertown on December 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

8 nieces and nephews @ 10 bucks a pop+25 bucks total+ for 5 work friends+30 bucks on my husband(ALL from MY personal account rather than the family account), and Spawn wants a rifle. Because he has a FIOD card from Ill-I’m gonna have to see what he can legally buy in TX.
We already had a mini tree.
If we were still in IL-I wouldn’t have shopped @ all.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

The last holiday Christmas shopping weekend, of all time, falls short of expectations. The REALLY bad times are still to come – all according to obama’s master plan.

Pork-Chop on December 25, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Trolls: Under obama, 1.5 million deported. Conservative heads explode!!!

Trolls: Under obama, Christmas spending nose dives. (again) But, but … employers won’t give bonuses for people to spend at Christmas!!!

Secular idiots worshiping a mortal man.

hawkdriver on December 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Welcome to the Obama economy. We are cutting back next year as a company. Had plans to hire three people but I don’t see that happening now. And with taxes going up everyone will take a hit in their pay, either from increased taxes or the result of increased taxes on others, or more likely both. Its laughable that anybody thought spending would not collapse this holiday season. Elections have consequences.

Ellis on December 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Welcome to the Obama economy. We are cutting back next year as a company. Had plans to hire three people but I don’t see that happening now. And with taxes going up everyone will take a hit in their pay, either from increased taxes or the result of increased taxes on others, or more likely both. Its laughable that anybody thought spending would not collapse this holiday season. Elections have consequences.

Ellis on December 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

welcome to common sense and possibly a renewed focus on real Christianity…Christmas holiday over-spending has always been a bad idea….what ever happened to focusing on the real meaning of Christmas….and doing it 365 or 366 days a year? Excessive materialism was never the Christian way. Feed the homeless and help the less fortunate every day of the year…please!

Pragmatic on December 27, 2012 at 8:28 AM