Holiday sales so far: A little higher

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Sales for the holiday season so far have been better than they were last year although they fall short of what the experts had hoped for. With merchants totaling up their sales receipts as this first leg of the holiday shopping season comes to a close on Sunday, there is still lots of conjecture about what the next four weeks will bring.

Of course there were a few bright spots and retailers in the West had favorable results.  As well Internet retailers were reporting that their sales were up 35% over a comparable term last year. Although the brick-and-mortar retailers reported an increase of half a percent over last year, their sales are still in the billions of dollars and the season for holiday shopping is not over.

One expert said that the numbers on Friday were not usually considered a good indication for the whole season although most experts are holding to their original estimates of a 1.6% increase from last year. According to one expert the hot items so far include electronics, clothing, shoes and boots.

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