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New England Black Friday Sales Lag Behind National Average
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Holiday shoppers in the northeast have made a slow start to the season, as Black Friday spending in the region took a tumble. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, and a day when retailers usually offer deep discounts to lure in consumers. But while across the nation spending rose slightly, in the northeast, shoppers spent nearly five percent less than on Black Friday last year, according to retail analyst ShopperTrak.

Economist Don Klepper Smith of Datacore Partners in New Haven says one thing that may have consumers worried is the continuing depression of the housing market.

"For every dollar you lose in the value of your home, you spend five cents less in the near term economy. That’s one of the reasons why people are cautious with their dollars because median housing prices are down about $32,000 year-to-date, so that’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at a soft holiday shopping season."

Klepper Smith is predicting that the rest of the shopping season will see a one to three percent rise in spending over last year, and he says there will be a bigger move this year towards shopping online rather than at bricks-and-mortar retail stores.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.