Fiscal Cliff

White House Warns Fiscal Cliff Could Dampen Christmas Shopping

War on Christmas?

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On the heels of record sales over the Black Friday weekend, the White House warned that automatic federal tax increases set for next year could hurt the rest of the holiday shopping season and would likely crimp consumer spending by about $200 billion in 2013.

The report released Monday projects that if Congress fails to act and middle-income taxes rise, consumer spending growth could be sliced by 1.7 percentage points and economic growth overall would probably be cut by 1.4 percentage points in 2013. Those are not small numbers given that consumer spending drives about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity and that the American economy has been growing by just a little more than 2% since the recovery began in mid-2009.