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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Perhaps we're not as free as we think
Topic - Michael Mcnamara
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.
Americans kept spending carefully last month, buying electronics and back-to-school clothes but holding back on luxuries.
Worried about the stalling economic recovery, Americans remained reluctant to spend at stores in July, especially on pricier items such as jewelry, though they let go of some money for travel, according to data released Wednesday.
"The fiscal debate anchored the season in terms of growth," said Michael McNamara, a SpendingPulse vice president. "The media coverage, which did a good job of explaining the negative consequences of the fiscal cliff, created this negative trend in consumer confidence and spending."
Online sales did enjoy a modest boost after the recent snowstorm that hit the Midwest, McNamara said.