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Strong Holiday Shopping Season Projected For California

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

This year, California retailers could have their strongest holiday shopping season since 2008. That could mean $10 billion more economic activity than last year.

“I think this would be the best holiday shopping season since beginning of recession,” says Chapman University economist Esmael Adibi, despite anemic wage growth.

There are several reasons why: a higher level of employment, which suggests a higher level of income; lower gas prices, which to consumers feels like a tax cut; and stronger consumer confidence.

“When people feel good about current condition, future condition, even if their income is not going up as fast, they would borrow. And they use a bigger portion of their current income. And that should bode well for this holiday season,” Adibi says.

Overall, Adibi predicts a California sales growth of up to six percent this year – about a percent higher than last year. That’s the equivalent of up to an extra $10 billion in economic activity.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio