Ho-Ho-Hum Last Shopping Weekend As 'Fiscal Cliff' Loomed | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Ho-Ho-Hum Last Shopping Weekend As 'Fiscal Cliff' Loomed

On this Christmas Eve there's this not-so-cheery news from The Associated Press:

"Christmas shoppers thronged malls and pounced on discounts but apparently spent less this year, their spirits dampened by concerns about the economy and the aftermath of shootings and storms."

The wire service says that:

"Marshal Cohen, chief research analyst at NPD Inc., a market research firm with a network of analysts at shopping centers nationwide, estimates customer traffic over the weekend was in line with the same time a year ago, but that shoppers seem to be spending less. 'There was this absence of joy for the holiday,' Cohen said. 'There was no Christmas spirit. There have been just too many distractions.' "

Those distractions include the so-called fiscal cliff — a combination of automatic tax hikes, spending cuts and expiring unemployment benefits — that will start to kick in as 2013 dawns unless President Obama and congressional leaders come up with some alternatives very quickly.

And on that point, the AP says, "lawmakers are increasingly skeptical about a possible deal and some predict the best possibility would be a small-scale patch because time is running out before the year-end deadline. Sen. Joe Lieberman predicted Sunday: 'We're going to spend New Year's Eve here, I believe.' "

This morning's related headlines include:

-- "Gloomy Predictions As Washington Approaches The 'Fiscal Cliff.' " (Christian Science Monitor)

-- "Lawmakers Say Time Short To Reach Deal On Fiscal Cliff." (Bloomberg News)

-- "Cliff Would Strike Low Incomes Hard." (The Wall Street Journal)

-- "Business Groups Grow Frustrated Over Impasse In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks." (The Hill)

-- Europe's Financial Markets "Flat On Fiscal Cliff Fears." (MarketWatch)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 28

You can see two solo exhibits featuring work that speaks in metaphor.
NPR

Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers

Central American coffee farmers are facing off against a deadly fungus that has wiped out thousands of acres of crops. Coffee companies like Starbucks are pooling money to support them in the fight.
NPR

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

The Supreme Court has been granting more rights to corporations, including some regarded as those solely for individuals. But Nina Totenberg finds the company-to-person shift has a long history.
NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.