Consumer spending makes up almost 70% of the US economy. A disproportionate amount of that spending occurs in the post Thanksgiving holiday season.
As US retailers prepare for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the start of the Christmas season, festive cheer seems limited.What will happen to consumer spending this Black Friday compared to last year? How will the holiday season stack up against last year? Will consumers cut back, due to economic problems (high gas, housing bust, etc), or will they callously shrug off the economic problems and spend?
With US economic growth hit by the downturn in the housing market, and the knock-on credit crisis, recent data has shown a sharp fall in retail spending.
And as US consumers seem less willing or able to spend, most retail analysts expect this downturn to continue.
"The holiday season will be terrible," said economist Ian Shepherdson. (BBC News 11/23/07)