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Inland Empire Business News April 5th.003
Inland Empire Business News April 5th.003

Black Friday nudges retail sales

Although Black Friday was a disappointment, it still managed to give national retail sales a boost last week.

Sales were up 2.8 percent for the week that ended Saturday compared with the same week in 2013, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, which was released Tuesday.

Retail activity dropped 1.8 percent compared with the previous week, a drop that can be blamed in part on early promotions built around Black Friday, said Michael Niemira, a research consultant with the council.

There’s reason to believe sales might pick up during the next couple of weeks, even more than they usually do during the start of the holiday shopping rush.

“Consumers actually reported being considerably behind on their shopping compared to the same week last year,” Niemira said in a statement. “[That] bodes well for December sales as consumers will play catch-up.”

The council has predicted a four to 4.5 year-over-year increase in sales this month, but today’s index included no forecast.

On Monday, the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C., announced that sales during the Black Friday weekend were down 11 percent compared with last year, and that consumer spending fell approximately $7.4 billion during that time.

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