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A Procrastinator’s Paradise: Retailers Take Stock of Holidays

US workers may have enjoyed the Monday holiday that came with Christmas falling on a Sunday last year, but a weekend Christmas was less of a boon to the retail sector in posting a strong finish to 2016. The calendar was "a procrastinator's paradise" says Goldman Sachs Research's Matt Fassler, chalking up Friday's disappointing retail report in part to Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday and a weekend of last-minute holiday shopping that failed to compensate for softer sales earlier in the month. Fassler, who heads Goldman Sachs Research's consumer products and retail business unit, notes that some of the forces behind sluggish December results could unwind in 2017, but anything beyond modest growth doesn’t seem likely.  "The economic fundamentals don't support much acceleration," he says.