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Dire Predictions For Holiday Shopping Season

 
Dire Predictions For Holiday Shopping Season
Posted Friday, November 8th 2013 @ 4am  by By KTRH’s Cliff Saunders

The Christmas shopping season is officially underway. For many retail outlets it’s the most important time of the year. They generate some 40% of their annual revenue from the holidays. But some analysts say this shopping season might be the slowest we’ve seen in a long time. 

Morgan Stanley says this could be the worst holiday shopping season since 2008. Hank Lewis of Lone Star College says there's a simple reason for this; Obamacare.

“People are reporting that their premiums are rising for next year. So they are being tighter with their money right now,” Lewis told KTRH. “People are going to face higher health insurance costs. This means they will have less money to spend on other goods and services.”

Like the video games your kids are asking you for this Christmas. Lewis says your employer could be making it harder for you this time around because of decisions they've made about your health care plans.

“Employers that are subject to the mandate that didn’t have to provide health insurance for everybody before now have to. They have to cut costs elsewhere or face penalties. Their costs are rising, too,” Lewis stated.

If those projections are right, Lewis says it'll have a negative impact on the economy next year.

“GDP might drop. Businesses might hire fewer people. Factories may cut their orders and reduce staff,” Lewis explained.

Morgan Stanley's not the only one predicting a bad shopping season. The National Retail Federation says sales will rise by 3.9% between now and Christmas. That's up from last year, but they describe their prediction as 'not robust.'

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