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JPMorgan Sees Weak Holiday Spending and Warns of a Retail Slowdown

  • Pace of purchases on credit cards slower than 2020 or 2019
  • Latest variant could be depressing sentiment, economist says
Shoppers walk through the Urbanspace Holiday Shops at Bryant Park in New York.
Shoppers walk through the Urbanspace Holiday Shops at Bryant Park in New York.Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Year-end holiday spending in the U.S. is coming in notably weaker this year than in the recent past, signaling that retail sales are set to end the year with a whimper, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The pace of purchases made on credit cards from Thanksgiving through early December was slower this year compared with both the pandemic-affected 2020 and pre-Covid 2019, according to the Wall Street bank, one of the largest issuers of such cards. That signals December retail sales data will likely be “downbeat,” according to JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver.