Holiday sales are expected to be flat in the United States this year. This is an improvement over last year, when holiday sales dropped 2.4 percent. If all goes as planned, holiday sales will reach $810 billion for 2009, not including cars and gas, Reuters reports.
The anticipated lack of change in the retail picture is driven by caution among consumers, in particular because of a difficult job market. Unemployment is already close to the 10 percent emotional threshhold, a level it is expected to pierce early next year. Without a sure way to replace the income they worry about losing, consumers are likely to "white-knuckle" their wallets during the 2009 holiday shopping season.