Black Friday, or the day after, Thanksgiving may be the craziest day for shopping every year. Retailers offer deep, fleeting discounts and shoppers go nuts.
According to the National Retail Federation, over 141 million unique shoppers went shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend. This is up from 139 million last year.
This year, however, shoppers spent less than they did a year ago.
“Low prices helped keep Americans’ budgets in check this weekend: on average, shoppers spent $US407.02 from Thursday through Sunday (planned), down from $US423.55 last year,” said the National Retail Federation.
So what does this tell us about the economy?
“We would warn against reading too much into the performance of retail sales on Black Friday as there is little evidence that it will set the tone for sales during the whole holiday season,”said Capital Economics via Slate’s Matthew Yglesias.
According to Capital Economics, Black Friday sales almost have a negative correlation to total holiday season sales, which makes little economic sense.
So, while we may get some fun anecdotes from the crazy weekend, we would be ill-advised to come to any macro conclusions based on a few days worth of sales.