SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Black Friday is about a week away, yet there are indications that consumers won’t spend as heavily this year, for holiday gift-giving.

The holiday season is off to a slow start. A report from the Commerce Department shows consumer spending at U.S. retailers was 0.1% lower in October than in September.

Department store sales fell 1 percent and clothing sales stayed the same. Experts say this downward trend could be a sign that shoppers are trying to pinch their pennies over the holidays.

Although inflation has slowed, prices are still up from pre-pandemic levels. Leaving many consumers to carry bigger balances on their credit cards. “The job market is still strong but it is not quite as strong as it was say last year,” said AIC economic professor, John Rogers. “And during the pandemic you had a bunch of bonuses come out. So people had a little bit of money to burn, which may be starting to run out.”

According to Rogers, retailers will have to balance prices and discounts this Black Friday. He says this will allow for an increase in sales, and be a comeback for most retailers.

Local News

Kayleigh Thomas is a digital reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kayleigh on X @kayleighcthomas and view her bio to see more of her work.