Black Friday Online Sales Hit Record $7.4 Billion on Strong Consumer Sentiment

By Bowen Xiao

Online sales on Black Friday—a day traditionally seen as kicking off the U.S. holiday season—rose to a record $7.4 billion, while fewer people showed up at physical store locations, according to data from Adobe Analytics.

Purchases made on phones accounted for 39 percent of online sales on Black Friday and 61 percent of all online traffic. For Cyber Monday, Adobe expects online sales to break another record, with an estimated total of $9.4 billion.

Online sales jumped more than 19 percent over last year, according to Adobe, which tracks transactions at 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers. For Thanksgiving, Adobe estimated that sales grew almost 15 percent to $4.2 billion.

Under the Trump administration, consumer sentiment in 30 of the past 35 months remained high, with the Sentiment Index recorded at 95 or higher—”a level of optimism second only to when the index was above 100 for 34 out of 36 months from January 1998 to December 2000,” according to recent data from the University of Michigan.

Numbers from ShopperTrak, which is part of retail data firm Sensormatic Solutions, showed that visits to stores fell a combined 3 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, compared with the same days a year ago.

Meanwhile, for the first time in several years, store traffic on Thanksgiving evening rose 2.3 percent, when compared to last year.

Consumer confidence is also positive related to personal finances. Fifty-four percent of all households reported that their finances had recently improved, according to data from a survey by the University of Michigan. In the past 50 years, there have only been nine other surveys that recorded a higher percentage, with the largest recorded number just three percentage points higher at 57 percent.

The steady stream of positive economic news under the Trump administration is more important to most Americans than the impeachment probe, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a Nov. 29 appearance on Fox News.

“At the end of the day, I think voters are concerned about their own needs, their own challenges, their own opportunity in their lives,” Gaetz said. “And if you look at the Trump economy, the hottest in the world, it’s creating that opportunity for Americans each and every day.”

Last month, President Donald Trump criticized Democrats for using the impeachment probe as a political tool to distract from the good news.

“The Do Nothing Democrats are working hard to make everyone forget the Best Economy Ever, the monumental weekend raid, Tax Cuts, the Rebuilding of our Military, etc,” he said on Twitter. “The Impeachment Hoax is a disgrace. Read the transcript!”

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation forecast 2019 U.S. holiday retail sales to increase 3.8 percent to 4.2 percent from a year ago, for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. That compares to an average annual increase of 3.7 percent over the past five years.

While the U.S. economy is still growing steadily, gains have slowed since its sizzling start to the year. Strong spending by households is helping to bolster growth, economists say.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate in October was at 3.6 percent, while the economy added 128,000 jobs in the same month.

The rate for Hispanic Americans, in particular, fell to 3.9 percent—breaking the 4 percent mark for the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began keeping such records in 1973. Hispanic men over the age of 20 enjoyed an unemployment rate of just 3 percent last month, on par with white men over 20 at 2.9 percent.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report 

From The Epoch Times