'Tis the Season to be Shopping
| Conflicting Opinions |
Tracking consumer spending is another way to spot trends for holiday sales potential. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that retail sales overall rose 1% in October, up from an increase of only 0.3% in September. If
That is not the case, however; analysts compare sales at 60 major retailers in October 1998 to sales in October 1997, while the Commerce Department compares retail sales from the economy as a whole in October 1998 to sales in September 1998. A 1% increase from one month to the next is quite healthy, whereas a 3.6% growth from one year to the next represents only moderate growth. So, while analysts' reports for major retailers would lead to pessimistic projections for holiday sales, the U.S. government figures give economists reason to be hopeful.
The Bottom Line
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