According to recent data, the start of holiday shopping is off to a slower pace this year. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the timing of holiday shopping, as evidenced by U.S. retail sales falling for the first time since March. This trend is reflective of the economy still being affected by the pandemic, according to Senior Economist Robert Spendlove.
While the economy is showing improvements in areas such as employment data, inflation, and retail spending, it seems that a true sense of economic normalcy is yet to be achieved. Spendlove compares the pandemic to throwing a rock into a lake and describes its ripple effects that are still being felt even after months have passed.
Despite months-early holiday shopping being more common during the height of the pandemic, with last-minute shopping and picking up of gifts not being an option, Spending believes that returning to a more traditional timeline this year is a good sign. With the economy cooling down and hopefully soon returning to normal, it is predicted that shopping will pick back up after Thanksgiving. A return to more normal holiday shopping trends seems to be on the horizon with this shift in timing.