Retail

Restaurants, Shopping Signal Consumer Health

Holiday Economic Indicators

In the final stretch of this year’s holiday shopping season, it looks as though consumer health is holding strong.

According to Forbes, U.S. consumers are eating out more during the holidays this year and are also doing plenty of shopping. With record highs in the stock market and unemployment reaching multi-year lows, there are plenty of economic indicators pointing to increased consumer optimism as 2016 comes to a close.

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought in strong retail sales, Forbes said it’s important to continue to keep an eye on holiday sales during the final two weeks of the season.

Store foot traffic jumped 65 percent on Black Friday, compared to an average weekend, with clothing, toy and electronic stores leading the pack for places frequented by consumers. Clothing and toy stores surged particularly with a weekend double-up in foot traffic.

Adobe Digital Insights’ holiday shopping data showed that this year’s Cyber Monday was one for the record books. Online shopping sales starting at midnight sent customers into a purchasing frenzy, dropping over $3.45 billion online on Cyber Monday — a reported 12 percent increase over the same day last year.

This was a new record for the largest day in U.S. eCommerce. The total amount in sales was 3 percent higher than that of even behemoth shopping day Black Friday. Adobe noted that top-selling items included the Sony PlayStation 4, Samsung 4K TVs and Lego sets.

According to a retail sales report from the government released last week, restaurants also experienced their best month since February, which Forbes noted as yet another sign of solid consumer health.

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