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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 – 09:35 a.m.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist or a Nobel economist to see it coming.

Consumers, likely concerned about how much they’ll have to fork out for healthcare next year, are cutting back.

Retail sales over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend reportedly fell 3% this year. The number is a seven-year low.

Analysts had expected a 3% rise.

It appears the much-touted heavy shopping traffic didn’t translate into more money being spent. Will internet sales make up any of the deficit? It’s a big maybe at this point.

Nevertheless, expect retailers to start offering deep discounts, to clear inventory, if consumers don’t pick up. That, in turn, will squeeze profit margins.