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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.
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 photo, people walk through the Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, Calif. U.S. holiday retail sales this year are the weakest since 2008, after a shopping season disrupted by storms and rising uncertainty among consumers. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)