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.