The White House must be surprised today by the strength of the Christmas shopping over the long weekend. The weekend saw retailers taking in $59.1 billion, up 12.1% from last year’s record high level. Online sales reached $1 billion for the weekend for the first time ever. Industry experts are anticipating that the season’s sales will come in 4.1% ahead of last year, and this is a group that is perennially pessimistic.
The White House purported that the threat of the fiscal cliff would prove deleterious to retailers as the fear of higher taxes could keep shoppers at home. This appears to be an attempt to pressure Republicans into making a deal on keeping the Bush tax cuts in place on middle-class income earners. It didn’t work.
Either Americans are convinced the Congress will come to a reasonable solution in time, or they are not paying any attention to Washington’s drama. Both this weekend’s spending, and the estimates for December, bode well for our forecast of ongoing economic expansion in the US into 2013. Enjoy!