The holiday shopping season is now underway. According to the Wall Street Journal, consumers spent about $10.66 billion on Black Friday, a smidgen higher than last year.
And what does that portend for the holiday season and the economy overall? Short answer: No one knows.
As Karen Dynan notes in today’s Washington Post, the link between Black Friday sales and holiday sales isn’t as tight as many people think. And the link between holiday sales and the overall economy is even weaker. Those are two of the “5 Myths about Holiday Spending Sprees” that Karen identifies.
Her bottom line? “Much of the conventional wisdom linking holiday spending and the health of our economy turns out to have been exaggerated.”