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  • In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, photo, a holiday shoppers reflected in a ornament handing from a large Christmas tree at Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, Calif. Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. 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)

    Shoppers disappoint retailers this holiday season

    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.

  • Consumers line up outside a Best Buy store in Glendale, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, for the midnight release of Microsoft Game Studios' Xbox 360 "Halo: Reach" videogame. Sales of electronics were up 4.7 percent in September, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

    September sales edge up

    Americans kept spending carefully last month, buying electronics and back-to-school clothes but holding back on luxuries.

  • A customer shops in late July at an Aeropostale store in Paramus, N.J., where some items are marked down 50 percent. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Americans remained cautious in July, retail figures show

    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.

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