Bloomberg by the Numbers: 0.7%

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Not as many shopping bags as expected, per the past year's holiday spending.

That’s how much U.S. holiday sales rose this year — less than half the pace of a year ago when purchases went up 2 percent, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

Pundits called it “Cliffmas” this year and it seems that they were right. The mood of the American consumer soured while Washington politicians argued over the best way to avert more than $600 billion in higher taxes and spending cuts that will begin on Jan. 1, the so-called fiscal cliff. Superstorm Sandy also hurt, and consumer confidence fell in December to a five-month low.

With less than a week to go, there is still no fiscal deal.

What do you think about this article? Comment below!