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Spooked by the ghost of Christmas present

      Faced with the specter of a rapidly tanking economy, frightened consumers may have a tough time parting with the "green" for their holiday largess.

     Consumer confidence is down 23 percent in Buffalo from last year, according to Siena Research Institute.

   "There's this fear that even if [the recession] hasn't hit me yet, it's coming," says Arun Jain, professor of marketing at the University at Buffalo School of Management.

  Will your Christmas pudding be a thin gruel? Or will you hurl  those cautionary  humbugs to the wind?

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Consumerism
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