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The U.S. economy has begun its recovery from a deep recession: third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 2.8%. While this percentage gain was somewhat less than the initial estimate, nonetheless it was a welcomed sign that the recession is likely over. Improving corporate profits and strong productivity levels should eventually lead to job creation and continued economic growth.
Retailers remain worried about holiday sales due to relatively low consumer confidence. The National Retail Federation estimates that the 2009 holiday shopping season will experience the second consecutive decline in year-over-year spending due to high unemployment, deleveraging consumers and tempered consumer confidence. Average spending over the post-Thanksgiving weekend declined 7.9% with overall sales falling 0.3%, indicating that consumers may be waiting for more enticing bargains in December.
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