Thin Bag From Santa to U.S. Retailers This Year

Cautious consumer reactions to the economic recovery causes prediction that sales at U.S. stores will climb less this holiday season than in recent years

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November and December sales in U.S. stores rose by only 3% in 2012, compared to 4% in 2011 and 3.8% in 2010. This holiday season, they are expected to rise by even less, according to a recent projection by ShopperTrak.

Calculated by shopper visits to thousands of retail locations across the country, ShopperTrak predicts that the holiday bump to sales will amount to a mere 2.4% this year. According to company founder Bill Martin, these diminished figures have little to do with there being six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2013.

“Although the economy continues to recover slowly, consumers remain cautious about spending and are not ready to splurge,” Martin said in a statement. One third of consumers told an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters that they would be spending less this year than last on electronics, toys and jewelry.