Sales this holiday season were up only 0.7% vs. a year ago, according to MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse as reported by Bloomberg
. Superstorm Sandy and declining consumer confidence were cited as causes, with a weak finish to the season. Fiscal cliff concerns may have contributed to the declining consumer confidence.
Other sources were reporting stronger year-over-year growth, but none may have the breadth of information that MasterCard provides. ShopperTrak estimated holiday sales up 2.5%. The National Retail Federation expected sales to end up 4.1%.