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Black Friday (shopping)

Tepid kickoff to holiday shopping in November

Tepid kickoff to holiday shopping in November

Consumers gave retailers only a modest sales boost in November, showing a reluctance to spend that could signal ill tidings for the crucial holiday season.

Last month, retail sales climbed to $465.5 billion, up 0.1% from October and up 3.8% from November 2015, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Some forecasts had predicted a rise of at least 0.3%. 

“This holiday season may turn out to be below par or not as healthy as what we expected,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands. “I am bracing for a small disappointment.”

Sohn said that many economists were predicting a more robust November after strong growth in...

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