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Report: Holiday sales up 0.7%


New York City -- Holiday-related sales rose 0.7% from October 28 through December 24, compared with a 2% rise last year, according to a preliminary report from MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse.

"It has been a very uneven industry performance, probably at least for the last year, and that certainly continued into the holiday season," said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers, in a Reuters report.

A lull in early December and winter storms in parts of the country may have cut into sales, the report said, along with fears that taxes would rise due to the "fiscal cliff" situation.

However, some analysts cautioned that it was too early to call the holiday season a complete bust as some retailers were likely to benefit from a post-Christmas rebound.

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