ATLANTA (AP) — The malls may have been crowded, but that doesn't mean Christmas shoppers have been spending at the same pace as in previous years.

An analyst at market research firm NPD is estimating that customer traffic over the weekend was in line with the same time a year ago -- but Marshal Cohen says shoppers appear to be spending less.

He says there have been "just too many distractions" -- including storms, the school shootings and the fiscal cliff.

But the firm ShopperTrak has even cut its forecast for holiday spending to 2.5 percent growth, down from 3.3 percent.