US Christmas shopping season kicks off

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US retailers were hoping for buoyant sales this weekend after the start of the Christmas shopping season.

The day after the Thanksgiving national holiday, known as Black Friday, sees stores open overnight and offer heavy discounting.

While shopper numbers were up by 2.2% on Black Friday on last year’s numbers, sales were only up by 0.3% to $10.7 billion (£7 billion), according to ShopperTrak.

Founder of ShopperTrak, Bill Martin, said shoppers are spending “more wisely” this year - particularly in view of the tough economic climate.

The US Commerce Department recently reported a 0.3% growth in personal spending for the month of October.

Consumer spending makes up for more than two-thirds of overall economic activity in the US, which is why the figures, and the habits of American shoppers, are closely watched.

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