Thanksgiving sales up from last year

Tuesday, November 30th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Friday after Thanksgiving proved to be bountiful for Oklahoma retailers, as shoppers spent money at a higher rate than they did a year ago. The TeleCheck Retail Index showed that sales in Oklahoma were up 6.2 percent on Friday, compared with a 3.1 percent gain in 1998, making it the highest day-after-Thanksgiving increase this decade.

Oklahomans also spent at a faster pace than shoppers in Texas and Missouri, TeleCheck said. The TeleCheck Retail Index is the only national day-after indicator of retail sales. It is based on checks written at more than 27,000 locations. Consumer confidence appears to reflect the buoyancy of the nation's economy. There were several negative factors that affected consumer spending last year, including the presidential impeachment hearings, the bombing of Iraq, depressed oil prices and the currency crisis in Brazil and Asia.

Conditions improved early in the year, and the nation's economy is thriving along with record-low unemployment. For Oklahoma City, the day-after-Thanksgiving sales increased 6 per cent, up from a 4.7 percent increase in 1998.

In Tulsa, day-after-Thanksgiving sales rose 5.8 percent, up from 2.4 percent a year ago. Weekend sales for the state increased 4.5 percent, up from 2.5 per cent for the same period in 1998. TeleCheck said it expects a 3 percent to 5 percent sales gain for the 29-day shopping season that started Friday.

"While the day after Thanksgiving is no longer the biggest shopping day of the season, the one-day sales data provides us witha glimpse of what we might expect for the season," said William Ford, TeleCheck's senior economist. "The jump in sales is in line with the healthy state of the economy and high consumer confidence.”