There is no question the results from Black Friday were positive. However, as a Reuter’s story points out it may not translate into a strong selling season or economy. Some highlights:
A deeper look at the data reveals it would be wrong to suggest that conspicuous consumption is back in any way. Experts warn that the report gives just a snapshot and should not be given too much weight.
Consumers merely bring forward spending that they would have done later to take advantage of retailers slashing prices for “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving that marks the beginning of the shopping season.
“If people chose to spend more on holiday gifts but offset that by spending less on discretionary services like restaurants and movie tickets, the retail sales numbers will overstate the big picture,” Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note.
Many experts expect consumers to go into a prolonged spending lull from now until close to Christmas, as they have in recent years. “I think there is going to be hangover,” said independent analyst Brian Sozzi, who follows retail stocks. “You’re going to see that fatigue with the consumer.”