• Bloomberg


Merchants in November became the most pessimistic they’ve been in four years as stagnant wages and record gasoline prices prompt consumers to pare spending.

The Economy Watchers index, a survey of barbers, shopkeepers and others who deal with consumers, fell for an eighth month to 38.8 from 41.5 in October, the Cabinet Office said Monday. A number less than 50 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

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