Holiday retail sales up except for dip in December

LANSING – Retail sales have yo-yoed in recent months, including a dip in December, but Michigan businesses say their overall holiday sales improved from 2011. But the challenge now is overcoming a significant sales decline at the end of the year. Fifty-four percent of retailers reported better holiday sales than in 2011, while 30 percent reported declines. The Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of the Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, measures the performance of the state’s retail industry. Data is based on the Federal Reserve and the association’s monthly membership surveys.

Focal Point Fall 2012 [show 6]

President Obama works to avoid a fiscal cliff come January and the holiday season is near and stores step up their efforts to get customers through the door. Reporters: Lauren Gentile, Chloe Hill, Josh Sidorowicz and Edith Zhou

Focal Point is an Emmy awarding winning, student produced newscast from the School of Journalism at Michigan State University.

Holidays shaping up well for Michigan retailers

Capital News Service
LANSING — Snowy weather and holiday cheer might seem far off for most shoppers, but Michigan retailers are already optimistic about a shopping season that experts say could be the most fruitful in more than a decade. October, November and December make up a key sales period for retail businesses, often accounting for at least 20 to 30 percent of total annual sales, Michigan Retailers Association senior vice president Tom Scott said. Scott said the past few years have gone well for retailers, but projections from the latest Michigan Retail Index by the association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago indicate retailers are much more confident about sales increases than in the past. The report indicated 43 percent of the state’s retailers on average expect an increase of more than 5 percent from last year, and another 32 percent expect increases lower than 5 percent. An increase in confidence among shoppers likely correlates with an increase in consumer confidence as the economy improves, said Paul Isley, chair of the economics department at Grand Valley State University.