Holiday shopping season not as busy as many hoped

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SARASOTA - Christmas may be over, but some say the holiday shopping season is far from ending.

Many people in the Suncoast spent their day at area malls and shopping centers, but this year's shopping trend may not have been good enough to meet the retail sale increase many economists predicted.

A Master Card Advisors Spending Pulse Report shows this year’s shopping increased by .7 percent. The number fell short of the expected 3 to 4 percent retail sales growth.

So far, it makes the 2012 holiday shopping season the worst since 2009.

“I think with the shooting that had occurred, the election and there just so much emotional stuff going on, I think that just has had a little bit of an effect,” says Shopper Ann Brandenberger.

Despite the dim shopping numbers, many retails say they expect their sales to increase within the next few days.

The Pandora Store in the Westfield Southgate Mall is one of a few places have seen a lot of shoppers, but despite the steady sales even representatives are hoping to see retail sales increase in the next few days. “I think they are going to pick up, because there are a lot of people that didn't get the opportunity to get out before the holidays.”

Economists say the holiday shopping season accounts for almost 40 percent of most retailers annual sale profits.