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Weak Holiday Shopping Season Expected Due to Poor U.S. Economy

What's the economic forecast for this holiday season? Are experts predicting a decline in retail sales compared to last year? How important is the holiday season to the nation's retailers? And, wha

Weak Holiday Shopping Season Expected Due to Poor U.S. Economy

Tom Fudge: Consumer spending represents two-thirds of all American economic activity. That means what's good for the malls and for the car dealerships is good for America. And we are now in the most vital period of time for American retailors.


Last Friday was the official beginning of the Christmas Shopping season. It's called "Black Friday" because in the past it's been the day of the year when a retailer's finances would go into the black. But this year, there's a lot of concern over how many shops will be in the black as 2008 comes to a close.

Will the early part of next year result in a lot of bankruptcies, due to our laggard economy? That's the big question. And it's one of the questions we'll address in this hour of These Days, as we talk about the Christmas shopping season.


  • Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center at The Conference Board .
  • George Whalin , founder of Retail Management Consultants of San Marcos, which provides business-building services to retail companies and industry suppliers all across North America.
  • Judie Rinearson , a banking and electronic payments expert with the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP.