By  on December 4, 2008

WASHINGTON — Cities across the U.S. reported a bleak outlook for the upcoming holiday season, driven by significant weakening of sales and consumer spending levels in the last two months, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book released Wednesday.

Anecdotal accounts included in the report pointed in particular to declining sales of luxury items and big-ticket merchandise like electronics and furniture in most districts. Sales dropped or were weak in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas and Richmond. Consumer spending slowed abruptly in Kansas City. Sales in Philadelphia remained steady but were still lower than in the same period the prior year.

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