U.S. stocks and the price of oil slipped slightly lower on December 25 amid growing concerns that American politicians will not be able to reach a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” crisis.
Less than a week now remains before the end of 2012 – the deadline for the White House and lawmakers to agree on a budget plan.
If no deal is reached, a series of spending cuts and tax hikes together worth more than $600 billion – otherwise known as the “fiscal cliff” – will automatically go into effect at the start of the new year.
Economists say this could potentially cause the world’s biggest economy to go back into recession.
President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders are currently on Christmas break and are not expected back in Washington until December 27.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters