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Weak holiday shopping numbers

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Weak holiday shopping numbers
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UNITED STATES – Traditionally, the day after Christmas marks another huge day for retailers as shoppers head out to the malls or hop online for the best post-holiday deals.

Analysts say holiday sales are the weakest they've been since 2008, and far from what retailers had been expecting. A report that tracks popular holiday gifts shows sales in the two months before Christmas increased .7 percent from last year. But many analysts expected that number to grow three to four percent.

The low numbers are being blamed on bad weather, like Superstorm Sandy, rising uncertainty about the fiscal cliff and the national grief felt by the school shooting in Connecticut. A more in-depth look at sales will come when the larger retailers release their numbers.

The final week of December accounts for about 15 percent of the month's sales, with shoppers out returning Christmas presents, looking for after holiday bargains and spending gift cards.

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