By  on January 7, 2009

For a battered California economy that’s endured crushing hits from the housing market collapse, shrinking consumer spending, a tight credit market and natural disasters like fires and floods, 2009 could deliver even more painful blows — and already-hurting retailers may absorb a large share of the pain.

California is locked in its worst budget crisis, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declaring a financial emergency amidst a Legislature deadlock on how to close a two-year budget gap that grew to $42 billion, as job losses and stalled consumer spending cut income and sales taxes.

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