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Black Friday, Then Blah Sales?


There may still be a recession at the cash register.

So far, consumer reports are providing few clues: Spending slowed last month, while retail sales were up, according to the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, consumer sentiment has held steady, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s index. Given these conflicting numbers, analysts say that despite the hoopla generated by Black Friday, consumers will show more restraint going into December.

Persistently high unemployment and a European debt crisis have spooked consumers. “I have a lukewarm prediction for the holiday season,” says Jeff Green, a retail analyst based in Phoenix, Ariz. Others are slightly more optimistic. “Based on the October data that showed an increase in both consumer spending and personal income, it’s fair to expect that this year’s holiday spending will be stronger than last year,” says Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub.com in Arlington, Va.

Retail sales growth this holiday season will be nearly 50% behind last year, others contend. “We’re still confident that it will be a solid holiday season, says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation, the industry group representing retailers. However, Kleinhenz says “solid” means retail sales up 2.8% this holiday season compared to last year; that’s down from 5.2% growth in 2010. “It’s still a very challenging environment,” he says. “Consumer sentiment is still at recessionary levels. There’s still a shortage of confidence about the economy.”


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    • Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include almost all important infos. I’d like to peer more posts like this .

    • Mr Collins’ article settas that Art Ward was missing the 19th consecutive meeting in a row because he was going to a political fundraiser. Since it seems you are SO knowledgable about Mr. Ward’s attendance, could you tell us, how many meetings he missed that were at 9 am OR during regular work hours and how many he missed after his normal working hours?I can not believe that 18 of these 19 “consecutive meetings” that Mr Ward was absent from were ALL at 9 am or in conflict to his work schedule.If the redevelopment of our downtown area is SO important, why did Mr Ward miss any of the meetings that were held in the evening?

    • I have to say. Really rarely do I enuotncer a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you’ve gotten hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is something that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I am very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for one thing regarding this.

    • Look at like this: 2 + 2 and 3 + 1 both equal four. In an economic environment like ours, this is what you call pulling business forward. It may get sales into this year, but watch out for next year’s results.

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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.