By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
The National Retail Federation reported on Sunday that more than 141 million Americans did some kind of shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday (Thursday to Sunday), compared with 139 million over the same period last year. Despite that, spending was down a bit, with shoppers parting with an of average of $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday this year, down from $423.55 last year. The organization chalked up the difference to lower retail prices, and the fact that many holiday shoppers started shopping before Thanksgiving, which the calendar put as late as possible this year.
According to a federation’s survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself grew 27 percent year over year as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8 percent of holiday shoppers, went to open retailers, up from 35 million in 2012. Even so, Black Friday was still the busiest shopping day of the four, with more than 92 million people out looking for stuff, up from nearly 89 million last year.
The survey also noted that 42.1 percent of Americans shopped online over the weekend, or about 59 million shoppers. Of those, the average person spent $177.67 online over the weekend, or about 43.7 percent of their total weekend spending, up from 40.7 percent last year. NRF also asked shoppers which days they shopped online. More than one-quarter (26.5 percent) said they shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, while nearly half (47.1 percent) shopped online on Black Friday.
Construction Spending Edges Up in October
The Census Bureau reported on Monday that U.S. construction spending during October 2013 came in at an annualized $908.4 billion, or 0.8 percent above the annualized September figure of $901.2 billion. The October total is 5.3 percent higher than the October 2012’s construction spending.
Spending on private construction projects in October was an annualized $625.7 billion, or 0.5 percent below the September total. Private residential construction dropped 0.6 percent, reflecting the usual wobbling in the multi-family market, and a slight slowdown in the single-family market. Nonresidential private construction dropped as well for the month, by 0.5 percent.
On the other hand – and contrary to previous trends – annualized public construction spending was $282.7 billion in October, 3.9 percent higher than the September total. Education-related construction accounted for most of the overall increase, spiking by 8.5 percent for the month. Highway construction spending was only up by 0.6 percent in October compared with September.
Wall Street had a down day on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 77.64 points, or 0.48 percent. The S&P 500 was off 0.27 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.36 percent.