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Another Strong Holiday Shopping Season For California?

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Black Friday marks the traditional start of the holiday shopping season – and it could be a good one for California retailers.

Chapman University economist Esmael Adibi predicts California’s retail sales this holiday season will rise another five percent above last year – for several reasons.

First, the state’s anemic wage growth is starting to recover.

“We’re seeing improvement in not only people who have a job – even people who are finding a job are getting a little bit better pay than before,” Adibi says.

Secondly, the stock market and housing prices are up, which creates what’s called the “positive wealth effect.”

“When people feel they’re wealthier, they typically borrow more money or they spend more of their current income,” Adibi says.

And third, Californians are spending a lot less money on gasoline, which leaves them with more disposable income.

Adibi says a five percent growth in holiday retail sales is quite respectable – and continues a trend from recent years.

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