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PODCAST: Who gets the big holiday tips, impact of the payroll tax cut extension

Customers make purchases at a cash desk surrounded by Christmas decorations at a department store in Paris.

Consumer spending barely grew in November, up just a tenth of a percent for the month.

Orders for US. factory goods went up 3.8 percent in November. The jump is the biggest since April and is thanks in large part to some giant airplane orders.

The payroll tax cut will be extended for another two months. How will lawmakers come up with the billions it's going to cost? And is the extension a win for consumers? We talk with CBS/MoneyWatch's Jill Schlesinger to see what the extension will mean for the economy.

A new poll out from Gallup finds France is the most pessimistic country in the world. The BBC's Hugh Scofield says that news doesn't really surprise him. Find out why. The poll finds all of Europe and North America aren't feeling so great right now. But the rest of the world, led by Africa, remains optimistic.

If you've recently placed an online order at electronics retailer Best Buy, some bad news. Best Buy has reportedly told some customers that it's not going to be able to fill some online orders placed in November and December.  

And a survey from Consumer Reports finds the biggest holiday tips go to housekeepers, about $50 on average. Take a look at the chart to your right to see how much -- and what -- consumer tip during the holidays.

From holiday tips to Rock Island, Ill., which is celebrating Festivus. Yes, Festivus, the secular holiday invented by Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld" some 14 years ago. In Rock Island today, there will be an unadorned aluminum pole at the corner of 18th street and 2nd Avenue. And according to the Quad City Times a local restaurant will be serving the official Festivus meal: meatloaf.

Finally, bringing up the rear (pun intended), there's technology out there that identifies people by their fingerprints, the shape of their face, their eyes… Now a group of engineers has developed a car seat that recognizes, well, how people sit. According to Wired, the new car seat analyzes 360 pressure points from your posterior when you sit down. If someone other than the driver hops in the car, it's a no go. We don't know yet how the seat reacts to a few extra pounds.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.
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