This year’s Black Friday was a huge success for retailers, according to preliminary figures. Sales were up 6.6% from last year, at around $11.4bn, and could be taken as a tentative sign of a recovery in consumer confidence.
The rise is the largest for four years. Back in 2007, sales increased year-on-year by more than 8% shortly before the full impact of the global financial crisis began to bite. Last year, by contrast, the rise was just 0.3% and some analysts predicted similarly sluggish growth this time.
While the figures are being touted as good news by some, others see it the other way around, arguing that cash-strapped consumers are keener than ever to get bargains as early as possible. As ever, it’s the whole shopping period between now and Christmas that will give the true picture.