Holiday shoppers were out in force hoping to get last minute bargains for Christmas but early indications suggest they didn't spend as much as in previous years.  Despite a slew of deep discounts - some retailers say 2012 has not been a great year.  Around the world, shoppers appeared subdued - not sure about what their economies might bring them in the New Year.
虽然人们还是成群结队地出去购物,希望享受到在圣诞节前最后一刻的促销活动,但是,初步迹象显示,消费者不会像往年那样花很多钱购物。尽管商家推出了大量的减价活动,但是,一些零售商说,2012年看上去不会太好。从全世界来看,大家都在有节制地消费,看起来,对新的一年,经济将有哪些变化并没有把握。

At U.S. shopping centers, parking lots were full - as thousands of last minute shoppers descended into crowded malls.
在美国的一些购物中心,停车场里停满了车。很多人在圣诞节的最后一刻赶着购物,商场里到处人头攒动。

But the big crowds mask larger concerns. Consumer confidence has fallen to a 6-month low, and retailers say shoppers don't seem to be spending as much.
不过,拥挤的假象掩盖了一个更大的问题,那就是,消费者信心降低到六个月以来的最低点。零售商们说,消费者花的钱并不多。

Dana Mattioli covers retail trends at the Wall Street Journal. "All the retailers are in panic mode.  It hasn't been a great holiday season," she said.
达娜.马蒂奥利是《华尔街日报》报道零售新闻的记者。她说:“很多零售商很恐慌,这个假期的销售都不怎么样。”

But if flagging consumer confidence worries retailers, shoppers say they have other things on their minds.
如果说,下降的消费者信心指数令商家担忧,消费者们却有其他的担忧。这位美国消费者说:“我要为三个儿子,还有老婆买东西。我的岳父母也要来,手头肯定有点紧。”

In Greece, despite the festive decorations - the issue is not confidence but economic reality. After six years of recession, Greeks expect even tougher austerity measures in the New Year.  So while shoppers in Athens look at the brightly decorated shop windows, few carry shopping bags.
在希腊,节日的装点随处可见。在这里,人们担心的不是消费者信心,而是严峻的经济现实。连续六年的经济衰退后,这个新年,希腊可能面临更加严峻的经济紧缩措施。因此,在雅典,很多人只是看着装饰一新的商店橱窗,但是,很少有人拎着购物袋。

One Greek pensioner says, after rent and food, there's just no money left. "Nothing, the economic hardships are so great that we cannot afford to buy anything," said George Manikas.
这位领取养老金的希腊人说,在交过房租和购买食物后,他基本上没有什么钱剩下了。他说:“什么也没了,经济太困难,我们基本上什么也买不起”。

In Spain, where unemployment is 26 percent, shop owners are dropping food prices to tempt consumers.  But Emilio Perez, a butcher, says customers have less money to spend.
西班牙目前的失业率是26%。店主们降低食品的价格希望吸引消费者。埃米里奥.佩雷兹是卖肉的,

"We are selling between 20 percent and 30 percent less than last year.  The purchasing power people had has been taken away from them, and we can all feel that very clearly," he said.
他说,消费者可消费的钱更少了。他说:“与去年相比, 我们的销售要少了20%到30%。消费者的购买力被夺去了,我们能很清楚地感受到的。”

But in Ghana, where money is tight and inflation is 9.3 percent, some shoppers were more philosophical. "There is no money in the system as per se, yes but we wouldn't think too much about that, money or no money. Since we have life, we have to do something for our children and loved ones," said shopper Vida Afforo.
在加纳,老百姓手头比较紧,通货膨胀率高达9.3%,尽管如此,一些人却很达观。加纳妇女维达.阿福诺说:“是没有什么钱了, 但是,我们不会想得太多, 有钱没钱,日子还是要过, 我们总得为孩子们和我们所爱的人做点什么。”

But American retailers who enjoyed a brisk start to the holiday shopping season last month - are not ready to give up.
不过,上个月,假日销售季节开始的时候感到不错的美国零售商不愿意这么轻易地放弃.

Retail analyst Bill Martin says there's still one week of holiday shopping before the year ends. "Retailers are hoping that the consumers will come back and deliver those same strong results during this last weekend of the year," he said.
零售分析人士比尔.马丁说,还有一个星期,新年才会开始。他说:“零售商希望消费者可以回来,与去年最后一个周末一样,带给他们强劲销售。”

Worldwide, the bigger concern is whether American lawmakers are willing to drive the U.S. economy back into a recession. Despite the threat of economic shock from higher taxes and automatic spending cuts, neither political party appears willing to bend on a year end deadline for a budget deal.
从世界范围来说, 大家更为关注的是美国的国会议员们是否会让美国陷入新的衰退。尽管由于增加税收和削减支出可能会带来经济震荡,两党议员似乎都不太愿意在年底就预算协议达成协议