Retailers face ho-hum holiday sales-early data

As the U.S. holiday season winds down, retailers were left to hope that post-Christmas sales could help salvage their worst performance since 2008, preliminary data showed.

Holiday-related sales rose 0.7 percent from October 28 through December 24, compared with a 2 percent increase last year, according to data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

The preliminary estimate from SpendingPulse was in line with other estimates showing weak growth during the holiday season, when retailers can book about 30 percent of annual sales and in many cases half of their profits.

On Tuesday, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index said sales rose only 0.7 percent in the week ended Saturday.

And last week, research firm ShopperTrak lowered its holiday season forecast, calling for sales in November and December to increase only 2.5 percent from 2011, down from 3.3 percent.

read more: http://news.yahoo.com/retail-sales-creep-higher-weak-holiday-season-early-143749277–finance.html click here

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