'Tis the season to shop, shop, shop...and from preliminary estimates it looks like that's exactly what the American consumer is doing.
The 2011 holiday shopping season started off with a bang. On Thursday, the National Retail Federation upped its expectations for holiday sales for both November and December. The industry trade organization now expects sales to increase 3.8% to a record $469 billion vs. its October estimate of 2.5% growth. (See: Black Friday Sales Break Records: Is Consumer Spending Sustainable?)
November retail sales did come in slightly less than expected at 0.2%. But after a year of unemployment near 9%, continued slowness in the housing market and uncertainty stemming from political dysfunction in Washington and the eurozone, the consumer seems to be holding up remarkably well. (See: Fact or Fiction: Is the Consumer Back?)
According to Rutgers history professor James Livingston consumer spending is just the serumRead More »from Spend Baby, Spend: RU Prof Makes Case for Income Redistribution