Though the economy hasn’t been much to celebrate the past couple of years, this week’s traditional start to the holiday shopping season may bring a bit of cheer.
Several important indicators, such as consumer confidence, manufacturing and retail activity, are showing modest positive signs. But with unemployment still high and real estate still struggling, it’s unlikely that most customers will be driving home sleighs full of gifts.
Nationwide, sales in October increased 1.2 percent, the largest amount in seven months, according to U.S. Commerce Department data. It was the fourth consecutive month of retail gains, coming after losses in the spring that led many economists to worry about the recovery’s
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