Black Friday, Cyber Monday Sales Strong

By Corinne Rose

November 26, 2012 Updated Nov 26, 2012 at 7:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Americans are doing their part to help the economy -- to the tune of more than $59 billion over the Thanksgiving weekend.

On Black Friday alone, 89 million shoppers online and in stores spent 26% more than they did last year, which is giving retailers reason to celebrate.

Consumer spending is up for the first 10 months of the year, as well.

In fact, Americans are spending more than they did in 2007, when the economy was booming.

Sales in November and December can amount to 19- to even 40% of a store's bottom line for the year, which is why the holiday shopping season is so important to them.

And the circulation of cash stimulates the whole economy.

"Every dollar I spend becomes someone else's income, which is great. And then that person now has a dollar that they can go and spend somewhere else, which becomes that person's income that they can now take and spend somewhere else. And this is what kind of keeps the economy going," says John Kessler of IPFW's economics department.

So why are the experts saying the economy is down? Because businesses haven't stepped up their spending like consumers have.

Companies have not reinvested in their facilities or hired more workers. They're waiting to see what Congress does with tax laws by the end of the year -- that whole fiscal cliff issue.

But consumer confidence and spending are way up.

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