The much-hyped holiday shopping season typically accounts for about 19 percent of each year’s retail sales, making it one of the most important times for some retailers. After last year’s slump in holiday retail sales, economists are watching consumer spending closely this year for signs of improvement.
Consumer splurges this month may be a good barometer for gauging economic recovery. Most analysts expect we will see better numbers this year than last, but they don’t foresee a blockbuster season. In fact, most believe that consumer spending will only begin to increase gradually early next year.
On Wednesday, December 16, Karen Dynan, vice president and co-director of Economic Studies, participated in a live web chat about this year’s holiday shopping trends and what that means in terms of recovery. Politico’s Fred Barbash moderated the discussion.