Unseasonably Warm Weather, Weak Housing Slow Holiday Sales

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Unseasonably Warm Weather, Weak Housing Slow Holiday Sales

A new report blamed bad weather in certain parts of the country, along with a weak housing market, for lowered than expected holiday sales, according to Reuters.

The report, by SpendingPulse, a retail data provider for MasterCard Advisors, said that retail sales from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve grew about 3 percent, which is lower than last year's 5.2 percent growth. The figures are seasonally adjusted and exclude auto sales, and are based on credit card spending.

Unseasonably warm weather hurt the sales of cold-weather clothing, according to the report. In addition, the weak housing market slowed home equity borrowing, which in the past has helped fuel retail sales, particularly of higher-ticket goods like furniture.

On the bright side, consumer electronics and luxury goods did well, as did online shopping.