Market News – Black Friday record sales boost optimism in Asian markets

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Black Friday sales in the US rose 6.6 percent this Thanksgiving weekend compared to last year’s mere 0.3 percent volume.

The term Black Friday derives from an accounting perspective that stores get back in the black and out of the red due to higher sales volumes due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The strong holiday sales numbers raise optimism not only for US retailers but also for Asian retailers since Asia has close links to the US. This is due to Asian manufacturers relying heavily on US consumers to boost their production and exports to the US markets. One Asian company that depends on the US markets is Hong Kong based “Li and Fung” which entered an agreement to supply clothes and other consumer goods to US retail giant Walmart in a January 2010 agreement.

The rise in US retail sales is good news despite the on going debt crisis in Europe and shows that the US is holding its own and is not in danger of heading into a recession. In fact, US consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, grew at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace of 2011, and the fastest since pre-crisis period in 2007, the Commerce Department said in a report on November 22.

Black Friday sales per US consumer were up 16 percent to $398.62 per person versus a year earlier.

According to Chicago-based ShopperTrak,which tracks consumer spending, American shoppers spent $11.4 billion at stores, up nearly $1 billion from last year’s Thanksgiving weekend.

Meanwhile Web sales were also higher on Black Friday, surging 26 percent to $816 million and 18 percent to $479 million on Thanksgiving