Consumer Spending Up During Holiday Season

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Daily US consumer spending rose 4.1% in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas according to a recent survey conducted by Gallup. The rise is roughly equivalent to the 3.8% expected increase in spending predicted by the National Retail Federation.

The holiday shopping season got off to a great start, with self-reported spending up nearly 5%. By the end of the five-week shopping period, though, the spending increase had returned to the same level as the increase between 2009 and 2010.

Consumer confidence readings were higher this year, unemployment numbers had improved, and gasoline prices were lower than they have been since February, but higher than they were last year. For retailers, promotional pricing which brought customers in may have cut into margins.