National University System Institute for Policy Research

(858) 642-8498 Get Started

EconoMeter: Holiday sales - a sign of good times?

Black Friday looked good, but is it a trend or just a blip?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

View Article

Kelly Cunningham, National University System
Answer: No

Increased spending over the Thanksgiving weekend may not necessarily be an indication of improving economic conditions, but rather a reflection of hard-pressed consumers frantically seeking discounts or perceived bargains, or more likely an effective advertising ploy by retailers to motivate shoppers into stores. Similar to the Occupier movement getting much greater attention than warranted substance, the Black Friday shopping phenomenon may be more fabricated event than real shopping opportunity, especially given the many ways available for consumers to buy goods, especially considering on-line shopping. Nevertheless the economy has slightly grown in 2011, and expected to somewhat improve in 2012.