Black Friday Sets $11.4B Record
Consumers shrug off unemployment, pessimism, and spend
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2011 5:32 AM CST
Pedestrians and shoppers fill the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue on 'Black Friday' on November 25, 2011, in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Holiday shoppers put their economic fears on layaway on Friday, and instead bought and charged their way to a record huge Black Friday, reports Bloomberg. With $11.4 billion spent at retail stores and malls on Friday, spending was up 6.6% from last year, the biggest one-year gain since 2007. “A solid Black Friday suggests the rest of the season should be pretty good,” said one retail expert. “Those who have jobs have been willing to spend.”

The big results came as a surprise to many, as consumer sentiment surveys had reached record lows recently—the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index had dropped below minus-50 in nine of the past 10 weeks for the first time in the index's 26-year history. Some pollsters think that consumer sentiments are overly negative, and that their increased spending tells the real story. “Still, it’s just one day," said another analyst. "It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.”