The most wonderful time of the year is often the most crucial time for retailers. And this year, with California still wading its way out of the Great Recession, there’s a lot riding on a strong holiday shopping season – for retailers and local and state budgets.
“I think it’s gonna be pretty good, actually,” says Chapman University economist Esmael Adibi, who's projecting a 5.3 percent increase in fourth quarter retail sales over last year.
Adibi says even though California’s job and income growth are slow, they’re still positive – and that should lead to increased consumer spending. “And more importantly, there are three other factors: Home prices are higher, stock market is doing well and gas prices are going down.”
Adibi says even though rising home and retirement plan values don’t put money in consumers’ pockets right away, it makes them feel better about spending money on holiday gifts.