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Ebay fears low Christmas sales



Blame the Republicans

It looks like the US Republican shut down of the US government has stuffed up Christmas for Ebay. The company has given a disappointing holiday forecast, saying the US economic environment, including consumer confidence, had deteriorated because of the shutdown of the US government.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan told investors on a conference call that industry growth rates for e-commerce had shrunk to about 13 percent in the third quarter, from about 16 percent in the previous quarter. But he had not seen any more positive signs in October, he added.

He might change his mind today after it was announced that US Senate leaders announced a deal to reopen the government and avert a US debt default.

eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said no one will be sure if the gloom which descended on the US following the Republican shut down will lift now that a deal has been announced. Data firm ShopperTrak has forecast the slowest holiday sales growth since 2009, and last week, September retail sales showed U.S. shoppers were cautious, following a disappointing second quarter for many retailers.

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