Uncertainty in the local economy has made Christmas shoppers a little more conservative this year.
We're down to the final day of shopping before Christmas, and retailers hope to make up for what has been a disappointing season so far. But many local shoppers say that the Washington economy may be putting a damper on holiday spending.
All the sales figures released to date show retailers have little reason to be as jolly as St. Nicholas. Sales are up only about two percent over last year — and that's despite big discounts being offered just about everywhere you go.
Clearly, many Americans are in no mood to splurge, and shoppers in the D.C. region are no exception. Outside the Macy's in downtown D.C., shoppers gave their reasons for not spending excessively this year.
"I just recently, like a year ago, took a $22,000 pay cut, because the company I was working for felt like we made too much money," said one.
"We lucked out because the family is not coming so we are not spending as much, but really not a lot. We're just keeping it real simple. Because we don't know what's going to happen in the New Year. I work with the federal government, so you never know," offered another.
"I haven't had a job since 2008, so I haven't been spending as much money, perhaps," said a third.
For those with cash to spend, some major stores in the area are staying open around the clock through Christmas Eve.