U.S. News & World Report:
So far, most signs point to a very merry holiday season for retailers and shoppers alike. Early numbers from the National Retail Federation (NRF) show that shoppers spent almost $400 apiece on Black Friday weekend, up from $365 last year. Surveys also indicate that the spending will continue through December; the NRF expects overall holiday sales to increase 2.8 percent over last year.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that people feel more optimistic about their financial lives—many don’t—but they’re finding a way to shop anyway. Some shoppers “are allowing themselves to enjoy purchasing again and figuring out ways to cut back in some areas in order to make pleasure purchasing part of their lives again,” says consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow. In other words, many people are tired of being frugal, and they want to enjoy the holidays despite the economy.
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