News / Economy

2010 US Retail Sales Could Top $450 Billion

Holiday shoppers in stores
Holiday shoppers in stores

Multimedia

A winter snowstorm in parts of the United States appears to have put a damper on after-Christmas shopping, but preliminary reports suggest retailers are enjoying the best holiday season in years.

Blizzard warnings, icy driving conditions and forecasts of as much as 50 centimeters of snow along the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts - kept some people away from shopping malls over the weekend.  

"If there wasn't a blizzard today, I'd be shopping," says one woman.

But even with the late year snowstorms, the National Retail Federation says the 2010 holiday season is shaping up to be one of the best.

Early numbers show U.S. consumers on track to spend over $450 billion by January 1.

That's three percent more than last year - the best increase since 2007.

Economist Kit Yarrow believes those estimates are on the low side.

"What they are doing is spending more like five percent more and that's in stores," Yarrow said.  "Online, its more like 17 or 18 percent, so it's been a stronger holiday season than really anybody predicted."

Even casual shoppers say they probably spent more than they wanted to this year.

"I realize I did spend a little more," a woman said.  "It seems like there's been more parties, more spending, more presents."

Retail analyst Lori Wachs says that's a sure sign the U.S. economy is starting to pick up.

"The consumer felt confident enough to step up their spending this holiday season," she said.

Even those with concerns about unemployment found themselves in a spending mood.  Some shoppers say the bargains were simply too good to pass up.

Consumer spending is the biggest driver of the U.S. economy.  And with holiday sales accounting for as much as 40 percent of revenue for some retailers, Kit Yarrow says strong sales in 2010 could mean a stronger recovery next year.

"When consumers are spending money,there's more jobs," said economist Kit Yarrow.  "When unemployment numbers improve, people feel more confident. It's really a snowball so it's good for the economy, I think, to see people spending money."

Despite a good year for retailers, the snowstorms have been less kind to the nation's transportation sector.

Rail service along some of the busiest Northeast routes were suspended Sunday.  And more than 1,400 flights have been cancelled in the New York City area, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7722
JPY
USD
107.08
GBP
USD
0.6171
CAD
USD
1.1041
INR
USD
61.075

Rates may not be current.