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Retailers Are Disappointed With Weak Holiday Sales

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with disappointing holiday sales.

Holiday sales rose by less than 1 percent from the year before, according to MasterCard's SpendingPulse unit. That's the slowest growth in spending since the 2008 recession. Even online sales - which posted double digit gains over the past few years - were lackluster this year.

Analysts said Superstorm Sandy had a lot to do with the slump. Mid-Atlantic states hit hard by Sandy saw steep declines in sales, which in turn dragged down the national tally. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.