For the last few months, retail industry experts and research firms have been predicting some pretty grim holiday sales numbers. It is no secret that our country is experiencing tough economic times. However, this “Black Friday” surprised many with an increase in sales of 3 percent from last year, according to research firm ShopperTrak RCT Corp. Reportedly, sales rose to $10.6 billion. This is the smallest increase since a decline of 0.9 percent in 2005 – compared with an 8.3 percent surge last year.

While the increase is smaller in years past, it is still an increase in sales. This is just another example of how people tend to focus on consumer’s thoughts or attitudes rather than their behavior. American shoppers behaved. They still shopped this weekend, despite their more frugal mind-set.

What does this mean? Have prices finally gotten low enough that customers are buying all of the things on their list? Could this mean that consumer confidence is not as low as we once believed? Is behavior outpacing attitudes?

What do you think?

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