The Economy: Cautious Santas

The lights are twinkling as brightly as ever in store windows this Christmas, but the cash registers so far are not jingling a very merry tune. Says Allan Johnson, head of Saks Fifth Avenue's 30 U.S. stores: "Shoppers are looking a lot more before they buy, and they are buying in smaller quantities." Inflation-pressed customers are also passing up the higher-priced items. Most stores are posting at least small sales increases over the 1968 Christmas season, but price boosts account for all the gains. In Pittsburgh, where reductions in factory overtime have...

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