News / Economy

Around the World, 2012 Holiday Shopping is Subdued

Around the World, 2012 Holiday Shopping Is Subduedi
X
December 25, 2012 12:50 AM
Holiday shoppers were out in force hoping to get last minute bargains for Christmas but early indications suggest they didn't spend as much as in previous years. Despite a slew of deep discounts - some retailers say 2012 has not been a great year. Around the world, shoppers appeared subdued - not sure about what their economies might bring them in the New Year. VOA's Mil Arcega has more.
Around the World, 2012 Holiday Shopping Is Subdued
Holiday shoppers were out in force hoping to get last minute bargains for Christmas but early indications suggest they didn't spend as much as in previous years.  Despite a slew of deep discounts - some retailers say 2012 has not been a great year.  Around the world, shoppers appeared subdued - not sure about what their economies might bring them in the New Year.  

At U.S. shopping centers, parking lots were full - as thousands of last minute shoppers descended into crowded malls.

But the big crowds mask larger concerns. Consumer confidence has fallen to a 6-month low, and retailers say shoppers don't seem to be spending as much.

Dana Mattioli covers retail trends at the Wall Street Journal. "All the retailers are in panic mode.  It hasn't been a great holiday season," she said.

But if flagging consumer confidence worries retailers, shoppers say they have other things on their minds.

In Greece, despite the festive decorations - the issue is not confidence but economic reality. After six years of recession, Greeks expect even tougher austerity measures in the New Year.  So while shoppers in Athens look at the brightly decorated shop windows, few carry shopping bags.

One Greek pensioner says, after rent and food, there's just no money left. "Nothing, the economic hardships are so great that we cannot afford to buy anything," said George Manikas.

In Spain, where unemployment is 26 percent, shop owners are dropping food prices to tempt consumers.  But Emilio Perez, a butcher, says customers have less money to spend.

"We are selling between 20 percent and 30 percent less than last year.  The purchasing power people had has been taken away from them, and we can all feel that very clearly," he said.

But in Ghana, where money is tight and inflation is 9.3 percent, some shoppers were more philosophical. "There is no money in the system as per se, yes but we wouldn't think too much about that, money or no money. Since we have life, we have to do something for our children and loved ones," said shopper Vida Afforo.

But American retailers who enjoyed a brisk start to the holiday shopping season last month - are not ready to give up.

Retail analyst Bill Martin says there's still one week of holiday shopping before the year ends. "Retailers are hoping that the consumers will come back and deliver those same strong results during this last weekend of the year," he said.

Worldwide, the bigger concern is whether American lawmakers are willing to drive the U.S. economy back into a recession. Despite the threat of economic shock from higher taxes and automatic spending cuts, neither political party appears willing to bend on a year end deadline for a budget deal.

 

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Don Ake
December 26, 2012 7:32 AM
I did my part to increase the numbers! - http://akespains.blogspot.com/2012/12/shopping-in-winter-wonderland.html

by: Dave Leong from: New York City
December 25, 2012 12:11 PM
One doesn't have to be a genius Merchant nor Miracle Worker to know why the Christmas Retail Season continues to be lackluster.
Even with more stuff to buy, store aisles crammed, Deptment Store "consolidations," and endless promotions, Holiday shopping will continue to nose dive. There are 3 reasons why it fails; And they have absolutely nothing to do with National or World Economies.

by: Joe from: USA
December 25, 2012 11:50 AM
You know what since I can remember keeping track (since the early 90's or so) the news media says basically the same thing every year in one form or another. humbug humbug they did not spend enough money woe is us....Its getting old and has along time ago become hard to take seriously. I guess if you look for bad results you can always find them. And unfortantely that is all modern news outlets care about is negative news since its the easy way to attract attention and garner readers.

by: Joe Oberman from: Providence
December 24, 2012 9:36 PM
Is money and profits all the news media care about? How much consumers spent for Christmas is soooo important, how about the reasons why... corporate employee lay offs, unemployed people who no longer are collecting and stopped looking for work. And, why do good people not hire any of those unemployed people seeking any kind of work, maybe because those good people (employers) are bias towards over qualified people. This is what our country has come to... apathy towards the unemployed.

Somethings terrible wrong when good people refuse to hire over qualified unemployed people. It use to be the news media would say over qualified people don't want those menial jobs. Are you kidding me?! Fact is... those good people (employers) are very afraid they might loose their jobs to someone over qualified. There's something terribly wrong when the most important thing is how much consumers are spending.

by: john nico from: world
December 24, 2012 9:28 PM
this is Good news.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9152
JPY
USD
122.70
GBP
USD
0.6494
CAD
USD
1.2374
INR
USD
63.925

Rates may not be current.