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Perhaps Black Friday was not as joyous as the media seemed to make it out to be?  Times are still very tough for a lot of people.  I hope everyone out there is doing as well as they possibly can be doing…

Amid all the reports of record-breaking retail sales over Thanksgiving, the fact is that the value of what consumers laid out has plunged, yet again. This extends a trend that has been broken but once since the National Retail Federation began issuing the numbers in 2005. The value of what was spent this year fell quite sharply actually, to 31.0 million ounces of gold from 33.2 million ounces that the cash laid out by consumers a year ago would have fetched in gold at the time. And 2010 wad down from 35.1 million ounces of gold spent in 2009, which in turn was off precipitously from the 49.9 million ounces of gold spent in 2008. The value of the money spent this year isn’t three fifths of the value of the 56 million ounces of gold that the money spent in 2005 could have fetched at the time. In other words, the notion that retail sales are soaring is, at least in terms of value, an illusion. Maybe this is why, for millions of Americans, the holiday still doesn’t feel as merry as the holidays they remember.

NY Sun

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