Worst Christmas shopping season since 2008

Washington played the Grinch that stole Christmas this year as the partisan impasse over the budget deficit instilled fear that the nation will fall over the “fiscal cliff,” dashing consumer holiday spirits and spending.

Pedestrians pass the Dow Jones display ticker in Times Square Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, in New York. U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Pedestrians pass the Dow Jones display ticker in Times Square Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, in New York. U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

More Photo Galleries

Happening Now