11 Years Ago In Time

Recession and war--they are a combination Americans have experienced before. While the departure of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was dominating the headlines, TIME anticipated a gloomy CHRISTMAS SELLING SEASON.

Anxious consumers may be strolling the aisles, but they are holding on to their wallets more and more tightly. Fears about possible war in the Persian Gulf are piling upon recession worries and news of spreading corporate cutbacks. One consumer sounding after another is recording the development of a batten-down-the-hatches mentality. Since Iraq invaded Kuwait, consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in 44 years... To help stir warm Christmas...

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