Tags: Moodys | Black | Friday | Sales

Moody’s Zandi: Black Friday Sales Don't Convince Me

Tuesday, 29 Nov 2011 07:56 AM

A noted economist says Black Friday's hefty sales figures are nice but aren't enough to determine if the holiday season will be a strong one from a consumer point of view.

Black Friday retail sales hit a record $52 billion for the entire weekend, up 16 percent from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation.

That's nice, but take it with a grain of salt, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

"I don't generally place a lot of weight on Black Friday sales," says Zandi, according to CNNMoney.

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(Getty Images photo)
"It's nice to have good sales rather than poor sales. But relying on Black Friday to gauge how Christmas is going to turn out is always difficult."

A payroll tax cut is due to expire in 2012, and that could dampen consumer sentiment in the longer run and end the shopping rally.

Other experts says the spike in consumer sales reflects an economy playing catch up and not one on the road to growing in size and scope.

Plus holiday spending is not a seriously watched economic indicator anyway.

"There was a massive drop in demand that looks more permanent than temporary," Tim Duy, economics professor at the University of Oregon, tells CNNMoney.

"Unless that is reversed, you can expect to plod along, but not get back to potential."

The National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales to rise 2.8 percent this year, down from 5.2 percent in 2010, Reuters reports.

Shoppers won't be flooding the malls this holiday season, at least not to make purchases.

"Everybody is fighting for the same consumer," says Laura Gurski, a partner at management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, Reuters adds.

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A noted economist says Black Friday's hefty sales figures are nice but aren't enough to determine if the holiday season will be a strong one from a consumer point of view. Black Friday retail sales hit a record $52 billion for the entire weekend, up 16 percent from a year...
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Tuesday, 29 Nov 2011 07:56 AM
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