Holiday sales in Massachusetts climbed tepid 2 percent

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Holiday retail sales in Massachusetts turned out to be even weaker than the modest gains that had been forecast for the year’s most important shopping season.

Sales in November and December climbed just 2 percent from the same period in 2012, falling well below the 3.5 percent jump expected by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the trade group reported Tuesday.

“It’s a little disappointing,” said Jon Hurst, president of the state retail association. “The short calendar was a tough challenge and the weather made it even worse.”

There was one fewer weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, holidays that bookend the strongest shopping season of the year. Hurst said a snowstorm during the second weekend of December further limited the amount of time shoppers spent in stores and hurt impulse buys.

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