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St. Louis economist not optimistic about Black Friday

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – Shoppers flocked to St. Louis area stores and malls early Friday morning.

As usual, retailers are hoping "Black Friday" will kick off a profitable holiday shopping season, but economists are not optimistic.

Retail sales could be off by as much as 15-percent this year, according to some surveys. University of Missouri-St. Louis economics professor Michael Allison said that's due to several factors, including the faltering economy.

"The unemployment rate's high and going up and people are worried about their jobs and you don't spend when you think that your job might not be coming through," Allison said. "Also, a lot of people might not be relying on raises this year. So that's going to cut back some of their spending."

Allison said high-end retailers and specialty shops will probably be hit the hardest this holiday season, but low-end companies will not be immune to a drop in sales either.


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