PHILADELPHIA—The lists of “holidays” seemingly continues to grow each year for the shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day and even Super Saturday—the last Saturday before Christmas.
But no matter how you label it, says nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia, this year’s holiday shopping season is being driven by confident consumers who are reveling in a strong economy.
“All year long, we’ve seen record after record in the markets, wages are increasing, more people are working, and Americans are feeling extremely confident about this economy,” Celia said. “It’s all about confidence. Consumer confidence is very high, and the American consumer is driving this economy. This is the way it was meant to be, as 70% of our economy is about consumer spending and consumer sentiment. One of the main reasons consumer confidence is so high is because consumer deficit-to-spending is also very good, and the prospects for earnings continue to look even better. This economy continues to be absolutely amazing, and this confidence will be evident in a big way this Christmas shopping season, starting Thanksgiving weekend.”
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers expect to spend an average of $1,047 this 2019 holiday season—4.1% more than last year. Previously, in October, the NRF announced it expected holiday retail sales in November and December, excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants, to increase between 4.3% and 4.8% over 2017—an increase of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion. That forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9% over the past five years. In all, more than 165 million people are expected to shop over the upcoming five-day Thanksgiving weekend—66 million on Small Business Saturday.
Business owners have these same positive feelings. The most recent Small Business Optimism Index for October 2019 rose slightly to 102.4, which the NFIB calls “historically a very solid reading.” This index has ranged from a record low of about 80 to a high around 107. Likewise, the NFIB Uncertainty Index, which measures how business owners feel about the future, fell 4 points to 78.
Celia discusses these and other global and economic headlines on his daily, three-hour “Financial Issues” program, heard on more than 650 radio stations and several television networks nationwide.